NEWTON GROVE — Students from the Hobbton High School Marching Band are raising funds to join the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. and to represent their home state of North Carolina.
To help make the once in a lifetime experience cost-free, “The Wildcat 600: N.C. to D.C.” is underway for the round trip, which is 600 miles. The total cost is $60,000.
“We need help,” Band Director Geoffrey Tart said about the trip and funds to cover transportation hotel room, meals, and other activities.
So far, the band raised $34,000 through different fundraisers after the band was nominated by N.C. Sen. Thom Tillis for the Memorial Day event which will commemorate the 75th anniversary anniversary of World War II ending. A committee also reviewed video and audio tapes for the process.
Many of the school’s shows have a patriotic theme. Hobbton was selected by the American Veterans Center and Music Celebrations International. The band is scheduled to march down Constitution Avenue and end at the National Mall between the White House and Washington Monument for the televised event.
“We had several fundraising events since the start of school,” Tart said. “We are currently selling our Band Discount Cards.”
Each card is $20 and includes a 90-day free trial of national discounts for restaurants, hotels and recreational activities.
For the trip, students will spend three days in Washington, D.C. for 2020 celebrations. Some of the highlights and educational opportunities includes touring the Arlington National Cemetery, the Holocaust Museum, and other historic places. Students will also have a chance to watch the National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol.
Along with the parade, the band is also working to perform at one of the national monuments, which requires a permit and close to $800 being added to the total cost. Some of the other additional needs include instrument maintenance, uniforms, and flags. In a letter sent to community members, Tart and other Hobbton leaders said those needs will help make Hobbton’s band “look and sound their best.”
Through the Wildcat 600 campaign, the school is seeking help from individuals or businesses to sponsor a mile or more. Each mile is $100. A total of the miles and donations will be shown on the Facebook page, “Hobbton Bands.”
“We have raised enough money to get the students there … we now have to raise the remaining to get them back,” Tart said about being at the half-way mark of funding.
Although the trip is four months away, a deadline is approaching fast. The trip will need to be paid in full by March to help lower expenses for students and to make the trip possible.
Donations may be mailed to 12201 Hobbton Highway, Newton Grove, N.C. 28366. Make checks payable to “Hobbton High School Marching Band,” in care of Geoffrey Tart.
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