A raffle for a Jeep. A mattress sale. Asking businesses directly for money.
The Lassiter High School band is trying everything to raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2019.
As of Aug. 21, they had raised $30,000 of the $250,000 minimum to get even part of the group to California, said Rob Boschen, the band’s booster club president.
It would take $600,000 to get the whole 200-student group there with their instruments and equipment, in addition to meals and lodging during the holidays.
He said it’d be about $3,000 per student.
Boschen said some parents have taken on second jobs to raise the money so their children can go.
“They make music you’d never believe came out of a high school band,” Boschen said.
Parents have volunteered to drive the 53-foot tractor-trailer hauling the gear that would leave Christmas Eve.
James Thompson Jr., band director, describes the Rose Bowl as an American tradition only paused by two World Wars.
This is the video Lassiter submitted to be in the Rose Bowl parade:
He said 200 bands applied, and 13 were selected.
It gives students a chance to be part of a team and see where hard work and honed talent takes them, Thompson said.
For some, he said, it would be their first time on a plane.
“To stick a toe in the Pacific Ocean is something special,” he said.
Lassiter performed in the parade in 1988, 2001, 2005 and 2013.
Beyond that, he said, the arts give students things they don’t get in other classes.
“It’s a special little place, it’s a treasure I’m fighting for every day,” Thompson said.
Neither he nor Boschen wanted to answer what would happen if the band didn’t raise the more than $200,000.
“For the most part, the community has never let us down,” Thompson said.
Ed Voyles Honda is also raffling off a 2018 Jeep Wrangler 4x4 or $15,000 cash. Raffle tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from Lassiter band students, parents or by emailing JeepRaffle@lbba.org.
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