Weeks after news spread that the Harrison High School band to represent New York State in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu, HI, fundraising efforts to pay for the trip are already well underway.
Representatives from the band visited the Harrison Town Board Thursday evening to announce several fundraising efforts, including an American Flag display honoring veterans that will be added to the high school's front lawn.
Those interested in honoring a veteran can have a flag placed among precision rows on the lawn from March 27 until June 15, the day after Flag Day. The flags will include a gold ribbon displaying the name of a veteran. The $40 donations are already being accepted at Harrison High School.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, now in its second year, honors those lost during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor as well as United States war veterans. This year's parade will specifically commemorate the 50th anniversary of the USS Arizona Memorial, which was dedicated in 1962. Harrison is the first school from New York State to accept an invite.
"That will be a really symbolic start to our campaign to go to Pearl Harbor," said Charles Briem, co-director of the Harrison High School Band Program.
Briem said the band will contact the state's veterans groups for donations. Band members have also agreed to carry tokens or personal items from veterans during the parade.
The growing high school band includes approximately 100 high school students. The trip to Hawaii not only offers an opportunity for these students to participate in a historic parade, students say they are excited to represent the school and state in an event thousands of miles from home.
A committee of about 14 band members has been selected to help plan the trip and organize fundraising.
"This is one of the first opportunities the Harrison High School band has ever had to represent New York State," said Danny Debois, one of five students who stood before the town board Thursday.
If the fundraising efforts are successful, the band will travel to Hawaii on Dec. 2 and return Dec. 9.
"We are proud to be in the community of Harrison and representing the community of Harrison," said Fred Pasqua, co-director of the band. "We promise that we will represent Harrison very well."