Middle school students going to Disneyland - with a little assistance

Parents at Eagle Valley Middle School came up with what they thought was a terrific silent-auction item to help send their students to Anaheim and Santa Clara, Calif., this spring - except no businesses have jumped at the idea.

"We were trying to get a $500 gas certificate raffle going," said fund-raising parent Meriko Gessling. "People have been really good with donating gift certificates, but no one wants to donate gas."

The Parent-Teacher Association donated $100 for the gas raffle, but $400 more is needed to make such an item available during the auction March 22 at the school.

"So we don't know if it's going to fly," Gessling said. "We need to get some cash donations."

The gift certificate could be to a specific gas station if one comes forward to help out. If not, cash donations would be compiled to purchase a gas card.

The silent auction begins at 7 p.m. in the school's gymnasium and will be the first fund-raiser of its kind to help send the school's symphonic band to Magic Music Days at Disneyland and its choir to a concert in Santa Clara.

The symphonic band, the most advanced band at Eagle Valley, is one of four bands at the school.

"They had to audition. They had to send in a videotape," said Gessling. "Whomever does the selection at Disney goes through and looks at the audiotape. They look at their performance, their playing skills and even their attire."

That's black tuxedos for the symphonic band.

"Traditionally, we try to go every year, but we never know until the tape gets submitted and we get a response," Gessling said.

Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders comprise the choir at Eagle Valley. and about 65 students will attend the May event in California.

At the silent auction, the choir, the symphonic band and several ensembles will play. Sales of refreshments will go toward the fund-raiser.

Students have raised $5,000 from pizza and cookie dough sales and are planning a car wash when the weather warms up. Response has been steady from businesses.

"Some of them, it's really easy," Gessling said. "Like today, I walked into Bodine's, and basically right away they asked if two lunches would be OK. And they gave it to me there and then. Some other places, it's more complicated. They have to go through a committee."

Donated items for the silent auction include a trumpet lesson by Tony Injayen, musical instrument maintenance by Zivo Band Instrument Repair, two large specialty pizzas, six sodas and 24 chicken wings from Round Table Pizza, two 18-hole golf games and a cart at Empire Ranch, two lunch specials at Panda Kitchen and a portrait package from Little People Portraits.

In all, $12,000 is needed for Eagle Valley Middle School students to get where they're going.

"What we don't raise, that's what the students will have to pay," Gessling said.

n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

If you Go

What: Silent auction fund-raiser for Eagle Valley Middle School symphonic band and choir

When: 7 p.m. March 22

Where: Eagle Valley Middle School gymnasium, 4151 E. Fifth St.

Cost: Admission is free

More information or to donate items: Call Meriko Gessling at 883-6244 or Jon Brill at 283-2621.


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