ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — Rockford High School’s marching band is getting a once-in-a-lifetime experience: it will represent Michigan in the iconic 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
However, it isn’t a guaranteed trip for all 325 band members, as the priceless moment comes with a hefty price tag: at least $1,500 per student.
“We’d hate to leave anybody behind but our organization, including the Rockford band parents, simply don’t have the means to pay for the students who can’t afford to go,” said band director Brian Phillips.
The focus right now is fundraising for the trip.
The band is raising money a few different ways, including a golf outing, a car raffle, and a mattress sale in September. All money needs to be raised by mid-September 2017.
A massive sign plastered on the side of The Corner Bar in downtown Rockford shows how close the group is to reaching its fundraising goal. As of Tuesday morning, they’re only about 10 percent of the way there.
Marching band members are doing their best to keep their spirits up.
“I know we’ve gotten great support in the past and I know it will be there this time,” said Jackson Danner, Rockford High School marching band member.
The Rockford High School Marching Band is the third band in the state and the very first from West Michigan to be chosen to perform at the parade. It’s one of only 10 marching bands chosen from around the country to make the trek to New York.
The band learned it made the cut in April.
“I’m still like not even believing it, it is just such a huge honor,” said Rockford High School marching band member Candace Adkins.
Anyone interested in helping or participating in one of the band’s fundraisers is encouraged to visit the Rockford Marching Band’s website.