Nov 19, 2013 1:40 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Arroyo Grande HS choir receives early Christmas gift at annual Rabobank tree lighting

Arroyo Grande High School's choir room was recently burglarized and vandalized and it left some students' spirits broken.

Choir director Chris Bledsoe said he walked into his classroom on a Tuesday morning about four weeks ago and he found broken glass, damaged music equipment, and a stolen computer. He said it was clear that whoever broke into his classroom clearly knew their way around.

"I was just speechless, really. I went to tell my principal the first thing, and I could hardly tell him," said Bledsoe.

Bledsoe said in the 30 years he has taught at Arroyo Grand High School, he has never experienced such a break-in. He said there are still no suspects.

He said, "I can't play music examples for the kids right now, because I have nothing to use in class."

But, the choir cleared their voices, and their heads, and got back to doing what they do best - singing at the annual Rabobank tree lighting ceremony on Monday.

Iris Swisher, the Arroyo Grande branch manager and vice president of Rabobank said, "We decided we wanted to do something to help them out."

Rabobank said it normally gives the choir a contribution for their appearance, but this year they wanted to give them more since their classroom had been broken into. Rabobank surprised Bledsoe and the students with a check for $2,500 after the tree lighting ceremony. Students in the choir said the surprise couldn't have come at a better time.

"It felt like, there was nothing that we could do. And, it kinda ruined our holiday spirit. But, being able to come and sing out here and be presented with such an enormous check is just amazing and it's totally lifting our spirits," said Jessenya Guerra, choir student.

Bledsoe said he plans on using the money to replace the damaged and stolen equipment.



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