Omaha South Band to Washington DC!!
Hello old and new supporters of the Omaha South High Magnet School Band Program from Omaha, NE. Sorry this is lengthy, but it explains our need for your support.
Omaha South High Magnet is part of Omaha Public Schools and happens to be in a very low-income area of town with 71% of the student population being Hispanic, 11% being African American, 4% Asian, and 10% Caucasian. 88% of our student population qualifies for free and reduced lunch. Out of almost 2,500 students who attend South High, over 1,800 students receive bus transportation to and from school.
Our band program has grown from 75 students in 2014 to over 140 students this school year. This does not include the 16 additional students who participate in the color guard portion of our marching band. Our program is growing fast and is starting to be recognized as being one of the most successful high school band programs in Nebraska.
Our students have bought into the philosophy of having pride in the work they do and to dedicate themselves to being the best students and musicians they can be. In many ways, we are teaching our students more about life skills than music. We have received many superior ratings and awards at local and district music contests during the last few years. The discipline and pride my studnets have is really starting to pay off. Instead of these students hanging out with the wrong crowd and/or getting in trouble, they are good, talented, and intelligent students who make good decisions and dedicate their extra time to making music, representing their school in a positive way, and are learning to be good future adults in our community!
In March 2015, Nebraska Congressman Brad Ashford nominated our Marching Band to perform in the 75th Anniversary Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC. It was an honor to be nominated, but we still had to apply like everyone else. After submitting our audition material, we were notified at the beginning of May 2015 that we were accepted to be Nebraska's representative for this parade! This will be a 6-day trip (2 days traveling there and back) that allows my students to not only march in the parade, but to also visit the great sites and museums of Washington DC while staying in a nice hotel, having good meals, and traveling in two nice stage line buses. Needless to say, my band students are very excited about this opportunity!
Out of 156 students involved in band classes and activities (including our color guard members), we have 95 students who are in Marching Band this school year (we had 55 in Fall 2013). Marching Band is an extra-curricular activity at Omaha South and it's really impressive that we have so many students who are willing to spend at least 7-10 hours a week dedicating themselves to this activity.
Each of my students is responsible for paying $615 of the trip. This includes their $100 parade entry fee, hotel, meals, and site entry fees. This doesn't even cover transportation. It will cost $28,000 to provide two motor coaches to transport the students during the entire trip. My students are very nervous and worried about being able to fund this trip on their own. Even with the help from their family, its hard to pay for this trip due to low income, bills, etc. Some of my students work a part-time job just to help their parents pay bills at home......talk about being dedicated to their family! Some students are so nervous it breaks my heart to see them afraid of not being able to go. I've taught them that we are a family outside our real family and this needs to be an all or nothing type of trip. We've worked hard to become this good together, and we will not sound as strong with part of the band there, plain and simple. They have worked hard and deserve this trip. I don't want to see any of them be left behind due to financial struggles.
I guess I'm nervous too since I have to make sure we can pay our first $10,000 payment by September 20th, 2015. Then every couple months another $15,000 or so is due. This doesn't even cover the bus payments yet! Everything needs to be paid off by April 2016. This adds a lot of stress in my life both personally and professionally. I really want to spend more of my time planning lessons and being the best teacher I can be for my studnets and right now I have no choice but to put so much focus and planning on raising this large amount of funds!
My students have already fundraised a lot, but the money we're currently fundraised needs to go towards basic operating costs (marching band entry fees, marching uniform attire, supplies, equipment, repairs, music, etc.). We have a very limited budget this year and do not want a lack of funds to be a cause of this great program to decline.
I was recommended by some of our amazing counselors at Omaha South to use this site and see if there are enough generous people out there who can help make this dream possible for my students.
Our first goal is $28,000.00 and this would cover our travel expenses for the entire trip. If we can reach this goal, we can keep raising it until we reach $90,000.00, which would fund everything on the trip with the exception of a few meals that need to be covered by the students. If we can accomplish this goal, my students and I would be forever grateful to all of those who helped.
Thanks for taking the time to read and possibly donate to a great cause. My students are amazing and deserve this opportunity. If you do not have the extra funds to support our trip, please share this with as many people you can. Thank you for your time and support!
Before closing down this campaign, I would like to send out one more message to give everyone an update about our Washington, DC trip.
With your help, it is exciting to share that we have raised enough money to not only cover the first planned expenses of the trip, but we were able to add on an extra day to the trip so our students can visit more museums and monuments.
All lunches will now be provided for the students while we are in DC. We raised enough money to dry clean and replace items we needed for our marching band uniforms so the students look sharp and represent Nebraska in the best way possible. We will also purchase nice polo shirts so the students can wear them while we attend nice dinners and the National Symphony Orchestra concert..
We have also raised enough money to purchase some of the updates we need on equipment, instruments, and supplies that will give the students a better musical experience.
Please keep following the band on our Facebook page "Get Omaha South High Magnet School Marching Band to Washington, DC"
Any future fundraisers for the South High Band Program will be advertised on the Facebook page.
Thanks again for all of your support!
Dear Omaha South High Marching Band Supporters,
I'm asking you for a huge favor. Just recently, South High's Dance Team, The Luvabulls, have been selected and invited in the last week to perform at halftime of this year's Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. This is a huge honor for their dance team, our school, and our South Omaha community. This is another successful part of our school that is deserving of recognition.
Though the band is still trying to fundraise for new instruments and equipment, we still have over 7 months to do this. Our Luvabulls only have two months before their trip is here.
If you have any funds to support the Luvabulls, please go to the following link and donate. I will be doing this shortly. We need to love and support each other as we work to represent our school in the best manner.
Thank you so much!!
Thank you so much for helping our band reach our goal to raise $28,000 for transportation costs for our Washington, DC trip.
We have had so much support from our community we have raised more than the $90,000 we needed to make this trip happen. This also includes a payment made by most our students.
We are at the point right now where we would like to fundraise for what we thought we never could have.....more of and better quality instruments for our students to play on in band and for the Washington, DC trip.
There are so many things our band needs that our school can't afford (though they would if they could and they help out every way possible).
We would like to keep the campaign up and please know that the extra donations we can receive will go towards the following areas...
*Lunches for the students on the DC trip
*Polo shirts for a nice outfit in the public
*Uniform upkeep (dry cleaning, new feather plumes, drum major uniforms)
*Marching cymbals so all of our percussionists can march and perform in the parade
*An extra day on the trip for more sight seeing, fun, and more educational opportunities
* New instruments and equipment our students need to perform and operate more successfully
Please help get the word our to our public and let them know everyone's help has been so appreciated and we still need the support from our community. The kids are still planning on fundraising all school year to help get these items as well!!
Thanks for your support!
Please continue to spread the word and share our Facebook and Gofundme pages so we can gain new support. Since two weeks ago when the media began to promote our trip, the support has been slowing down. We have more work to do until we feel confident that all 94 of our marching band students will be able to travel to DC.
Two ways to move a mountain......rain on it or break it up in little pieces to move...............same here. If you can give a larger amount ...great.....if not .....a $100 or $40 gift in four pieces does work. One thousand people times $100 equals $100,000.......what is population of Omaha.......lets make Omaha proud by helping these young people.
I remember when Mr. Homan first made this in late August/early September, we were just barely at $750. Now, we're at our goal of 28k. We still have to work hard for this trip, the community is proud of our work and we have to show them who we are. The rising Omaha South High Marching Band!
Looking forward to seeing you in my new home! DC is awesome!!