With less than two weeks to go until the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade, more than 40 percent of total funds needed have been raised to cover the costs of getting the Letcher County Central High School Marching Band and the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Cadet Honor Guard to Washington, D.C.
An estimated $75,000 is needed to pay for food, travel and lodging costs for 70 students.
At least $33,000 has been secured in donations since the trip was announced on Dec. 19, according to Dr. Jason Griffith, LCCHS band director.
The total amount raised to cover the cost of the trip will drastically increase as donations are collected from a radiothon, which was broadcasted on Jan. 4 on WXKQ 103.9. More than $33,000 was verbally pledged during the radiothon, according to Kevin Day, general manager and programmer of WXKQ 103.9.
“The radiothon was so much more successful than I could imagine,” said Day. “I was thinking $5,000 or maybe $10,000 would be wonderful if we could get to that level, but when we did the first tally less than two hours into it and we had $13,000. I knew that this community was once again rising to the occasion and was going to make this a very special day.”
Parents of band members also collected money on Jan. 4 during roadblocks.
Fund-raising continues with an exhibition to be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 15 in the LCCHS gymnasium to give people a chance to hear what the band will be performing in the inaugural parade. The band will perform Patriotic Parade Sequence, a medley of American songs. Cost of admission to the exhibition is $5.
During the event on Jan. 15, a silent auction will begin at 6:45 p.m. and will end promptly at 8 p.m. Auction items include a weekend in Chicago, gift certificates to restaurants, artwork and photography. Also during the band exhibition, a chili dinner will be held in the LCCHS cafeteria at 7 p.m. on Jan. 15. Cost is $5 per dinner.
Special accounts have been set up at both Community Trust Bank and Whitaker Bank for people to donate for the Washington, D.C. trip. People can make donations at any of the banks in Letcher County.
Checks can be made out to LCCHS Band and mailed to 224 Parks Street, Whitesburg, Ky., 41858.
Those wanting to make a donation online can go to www.letchercentralband.com and make a contribution with a credit card through PayPal.