West Forsyth High School’s band soon will be on the move.
The band has won a $10,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project to help it buy a trailer with which to move equipment on and off fields and to and from events.
“It was a great community effort,” said Patrick Gallagher, band director. “Parents and the students really jumped in to make it happen … we feel very fortunate.”
Gallagher said he hopes the money will be enough to fund a 20- to 24-foot trailer and a vehicle to pull it with.
He’s also optimistic that if they can find used equipment, or a company to lower the price, the money could be stretched to include a flatbed trailer.
“That will cut down on how much they have to push those instruments from the school to the stadium and back,” he said.
The 120-member marching band has been relying on parents and trailer rentals to get their equipment to and from events.
Gallagher said the band currently moves its equipment by “pushing instruments through grass and through gravel.”
The Refresh project encourages anyone to “dream it” and submit ideas that could help the community.
Each month, as much as $1.125 million in grants can be awarded. A total of 15 grants are given at the $10,000 level, which is what West secured, thanks to online voting support from the community.
Gallagher said parents took on the brunt of the work, preparing paperwork for the competition and spreading the word to friends and family to vote for the school.
“We had such great support from people and so many people had gone out and sent e-mails and text messages to friends and neighbors all over the state, community and country,” he said. “We’re just very excited.”