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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

CHS band needs bucks for DC trip

November 4, 2013
In The News

The Coventry High School band, at the request of U.S Rep Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, has been invited to participate in the 2014 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. The catch? The band needs help raising almost $100,000 to go on the trip. Fundraising efforts have already begun, with an added boost from the town council late last month. The council unanimously approved $4,800 to ensure all of the band members have the opportunity to go. The funds will come from the town council’s 1.5percent fund, a pool of cash budgeted at the disposal of the council for small, one-shot expenditures. It is equal to 1.5-percent of the town’s taxable levy.

Council Vice Chairman Joan Lewis said she had spoken to CHS Band Director Ned Smith, who told her several students may fall short of their projected fundraising goals — which are $804 per pupil. “This is a really challenging amount,” she said. “This will be greatly appreciated.” Smith could not be reached for comment. The trip, a five-day, four-night stay in the D.C. area, includes sightseeing, hotel accommodations, meals, a number of band events and the parade itself. Chaperones will be going on the trip, as well. Several fundraisers under way include an online campaign through GoFundMe. com and a citrus fundraiser.

School board Chairman Jennifer Beausoleil said she’s “always been amazed about their fundraising ability.” “It’s a big amount,” she said, adding the band “has a long period of time” to work toward their goal. Beausoleil said the band “has a history of tremendous participation.” “They have a long tradition of being one of the secret gems in Coventry,” she said. She said the trip is a huge “honor” for the entire town. In an announcement letter of the trip, Smith wrote the journey would be a “terrific chance to step onto the national stage and proudly represent not only our school, but our town and our state.”