Monday, April 23 , 2018, 9:29 am | Fog/Mist 56º


Pioneer High Band Raising Funds to March in D.C. Parade

The Pioneer Valley High School Marching Band hopes to participate in the 2018 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C., but first they have to get there.

More than 100 students and parents have been fundraising since May, when the band was nominated by Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino to go to the national parade.

They've worked concession stands for athletic teams, a fireworks booth, held rummage sales, and continue to sell sponsorships that are placed on band t-shirts.

However, the Panthers still need more money to have a chance to go.

“I’m so glad we got nominated to go on this trip," said Alicia Perez, Pioneer Valley senior and flute section leader.

"We have worked so hard as a band to succeed and have come so far during my four years as a Panther Band member. It means the world to us to be recognized for that effort," she said.

"I have never been on a plane before, so I am excited to see what that will be like," Perez said.

Cindy Wehlander, director of bands, described the parade as an “incredible opportunity” for her students.

“The majority of them have never traveled outside of the state, let alone on an airplane,’’ she said. “Getting to visit our nation's capitol and tour the area and various museums will be an unforgettable experience for them.

"We are honored to have been chosen by our mayor to represent not only our city, but also the great state of California in this national celebration of our veterans and fallen heroes in the National Memorial Day Parade," Wehlander said.

Families, businesses and friends can sponsor the Pioneer Valley Band for $25 (small font), $40 (medium font, plus a free t-shirt) or $100 (large font and free t-shirt, plus additional recognition), or any larger amount.

More fundraisers are planned. Donations can be mailed to the school in care of the Pioneer Valley Marching Band, 675 Panther Drive, Santa Maria 93454.

— Kenny Klein for Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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