Band starts ground work for January trip to inauguration
December 20, 2004
‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the band,
parents were signing permission slips for their children to hand
to Mr. Z so to the inauguaration they could go
Now all they’ve got to do is raise the dough …
by Kurt Hildebrand
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Douglas High Band Director Bill Zabelsky’s family should understand if he is a little late on the Christmas shopping, since he is spending the first week of break rounding up committment forms to find out which of his 80 band students will be making the trip to Washington D.C. for President Bush’s inauguration.
Four years ago, Carson Valley rose to the challenge and sent the band to the inauguration, but prices have risen since 2001.
Zabelsky said it cost the band $8,000 to send their instruments to Washington D.C. last time and shipping rates have gone up.
“Last time we got tickets for $250, now the cheapest fare we can find now is $460,” he said. “We may need more than $1,000 per student based just on airfare.”
The band is asking parents to come up with $500 per student to go.
“Some parents may not be able to come up with the $500 and we will deal with hardship cases as they come up,” he said.
His plan to perhaps split a charter with the McQueen band may fall through.
“I’ve read in the newspaper that they’re in danger of not participating because a lot of their education foundation money didn’t come through,” he said. “They need more money than we do because they’re bigger.”
However, Zabelsky expects Carson Valley to come through for the band.
“I’m confident in our community,” he said. “We’re a tightknit group here.”
Zabelsky met with parents and students on Friday to discuss the band’s invitation to Washington D.C.
He said he expects to have to provide for 100 band members and chaperones to go. The inauguration will be the week before finals.
“No donation is too small or too large,” Zabelsky said. “Just don’t ask them for money, sell them something. We’re talking big bucks in a short amount of time.”
The band plans to do a benefit concert and silent auction 7 p.m. Jan. 10 and will be out caroling this week.
Zabelsky told parents recognition of donors will be commeasurate with their donation.
“For $500 you get a plaque this big,” he said with his hands a few inches apart. “For $1,000 you get a plaque that big. If you give us $10,000, then we come over and sit in your living room.”
If they raise enough money, the band will depart for Washington on Jan. 17 or 18 and return Jan. 22.
— Kurt Hildebrand can be reached at email@example.com or 782-5121, ext. 215.
You can help
Send donations to Douglas High School, P.O. Box 1888, Minden, NV, 89423. For information, call 782-5136, ext. 1102, or visit http://www.douglasmusic.net