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IHS band raising funds for trip


The Ironton High School Million Dollar Marching Band is one of only a dozen high school bands that will perform at halftime at the 2013 Bowl Championship Series national title game in Miami.

They’re hoping some candles, strawberries and cookie dough will get them there.

The band needs $100,000 to pay for the cost of sending 120 students to Florida. Fundraisers to this point have garnered $10,000 to $15,000. Band Director Jeff Sanders said other fundraisers are scheduled, including a strawberry sale that began Friday and continues through April 11.

Sanders said other sales this year will include cookie dough, entertainment coupon books, Yankee Candles and Florida citrus.

Several car washes will also take place this summer in Ironton. Public and private donations are always welcome. Sanders says patrons will be recognized.

Although it requires a lot of hard work, the students are excited for the trip.

Senior Band President London Brown, who performed with the band at the 2008 Gator Bowl, said, “Going on these trips means a lot to the band. We have great experiences and have the opportunity to represent our school and community on a larger scale.”

The 2012 championship had an estimated 24.1 million viewers, but playing in front of a national audience is not the only boon of the 2008 trip, Sanders said.

“We had 12 students who had never seen the ocean. I will never forget the looks on their faces when they saw the Atlantic for the first time.”

Sanders said band membership is increasing. Although 120 will make the trip, 146 students have signed up for next year’s marching band.

“We’ve changed the way we do performances and the music we play. It speaks to the students and it speaks to the crowd,” Sanders said.

Sanders said he is thankful for support from the school administration and hopes the community, as a whole, will support the band as well.

“It’s great to represent the school and the community,” Sanders said. “And some of the kids will never have an opportunity like this again.”

Anyone wishing to purchase strawberries or help the band can contact Jeff Sanders at jeff.sanders@tigertown.com or call Ironton High School at (740) 532-3911.

The BCS National Championship game will air on Jan. 7, 2013 on ESPN and ESPN3.