Above: The “Clouds” cast alongside Zach Sobiech’s family and friends at Clouds Choir 2019. The 2020 virtual Clouds Choir took place on on December 11 at KS95.com.
This year, Disney+ brought Zach Sobiech’s story to the world with the movie “Clouds,” based on his rise to fame before dying of osteosarcoma in 2013. But the first people who helped spread Zach’s music and joy were at a local Minnesota radio station, KS95.
KS95 first debuted “Clouds” in 2012, and have since been huge supporters of the Zach Sobiech Osteoarcoma Fund, the fund Zach and his family started before he passed away to raise money for research. Soon, “Clouds” was being played not only on KS95, but on radio stations across the country. Zach passed away in May 2013, and in December, KS95, in partnership with Children’s Cancer Research Fund, hosted the first annual “Clouds Choir” for a Cause. They expected a few hundred people to join them at the Mall of America, but thousands turned out to sing Zach’s song and celebrate his legacy. KS95 has hosted a Clouds Choir event every December since 2013.
What is Clouds Choir?
Clouds Choir is an event that Minnesota radio station KS95 has been putting on for 8 years, in partnership with Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Since 2013, thousands of people have gathered in the rotunda at the Mall of America in December to sing “Clouds,” remember Zach Sobiech and his legacy, and raise awareness and funds for kids fighting cancer, particularly osteosarcoma. Many families have made Clouds Choir a holiday tradition, coming back year after year to hear Zach’s message of hope and joy in the face of difficult circumstances.
Is Clouds Choir still happening in 2020?
Yes – but virtually. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s obviously not possible to gather several thousand people in the Mall of America. But KS95 wants to make sure that longtime participants in Clouds Choir, along with people who heard Zach’s story for the first time in 2020, are still able to participate in some way. This year, they’ve created a virtual Clouds Choir – and they want everyone to get a chance to participate! This year, you can send in a video of yourself or your family singing (or lip-syncing) to “Clouds.” KS95 will edit the videos they receive together and debut them on December 11 at KS95.com. Visit their website for instructions on how to submit your video. This virtual event will raise money for the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, and every dollar donated will go to researchers who are finding better, safer treatments for osteosarcoma.
Clouds Choir and the “Clouds” movie
In 2018, Justin Baldoni surprised the Sobiech family, and everyone gathered at the Mall of America, by announcing that he was officially making a movie about Zach’s life. Watch the video of Justin surprising Zach's parents, Laura and Rob, with the news on stage at Clouds Choir 2018.
In 2019, Justin was back and he brought the cast of “Clouds,” now an original movie on Disney+, with him. Fin Argus and Sabrina Carpenter, who play Zach and his best friend Sammy Brown, even sang some of Zach and Sammy’s songs, and a few holiday songs, for the crowd. The cast ended the night by singing “Clouds” onstage with Zach’s real family and friends. See the video of Clouds Choir 2019 here.
KS95’s history with “Clouds” and Zach Sobiech
KS95 was the first radio station to play “Clouds,” and they were instrumental in helping Zach and Sammy record their album, “Fix Me Up.” Their kindness will always be linked to Zach’s story – they helped Zach ask Amy to prom live on their air, and they’ve hosted Clouds Choir every December since Zach’s passing. In 2019, folks from KS95 travelled to Montreal, Canada to act as extras in a few of the scenes in the “Clouds” movie on Disney+.
Treatments for osteosarcoma, the cancer that took Zach too soon, haven’t improved in decades. Zach wanted his legacy to change that. 100% of all donations to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund go to research for better treatments for this deadly cancer.