Decatur Park Singers program cut - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Decatur Park Singers program cut

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For more than 40 years, the Decatur Park Singers entertained audiences all over the state, but now due to budget limitations and a struggling program, it has been cut.

For some, growing up, it was a dream to be a part of the Decatur Park Singers.

"One day I'm going to be up on that stage," said former director Christopher Weisenborn.

His dream came true in 2005. He performed with the park singers for three years. He then became director in 2011.

"I am blessed to have had that position for three years," he said.

And he is the last director. Over the years audiences have shrunk, as has revenue, and now, due to budget constraints, the Decatur Park District had to cut the program.

"I'm sorry is honestly what I have," said Chris Riley President of Park Board of Commissioners. "I mean I was in the group seven years so this has been a tough day for me."

A tough day for former and current members.

"Kind of a bad day but, you know, happy that we're all family," Weisenborn said as he read text message reactions from some of the most recent performers.

"Someone just said, "Oh my gosh 'sad face.'"

A song many groups are singing during economic hard times, but the park district aims to start art camps and have a new entertainment program for teens by 2015. The park district said it is going to speak to area educators to see what sort of entertainment opportunities kids are looking for.

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