Marching bands at Cape Coral and Mariner high schools have joined forces for the first time in a fundraising effort for a combined trip to the national Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.
Nominated by U.S. Representative Trey Raydel last May, Cape High band director Stacey Green received the formal invitation from the parade committee to represent the state of Florida on their march down historic Constitution Avenue.
"It's a really big thing for the two schools to join forces," said Green. "As far as I know, neither school has sent a band to this event before. We need to raise about $68,000 to take 80 band members to the parade and we have raised about $8,000 of that so far."
The bands' next fundraising effort is a Dine & Dance for D.C. event next Wednesday at the Cape Coral Yacht Club ballroom. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a pasta dinner being served at 6:30, followed by dancing to the tunes of the swing era.
The Jazz Bands from both schools will perform with Cape's Hawkette Dancers leading the swing dancing and joined by patrons.
"We had one fundraiser rained out, but we have three events scheduled so far," said Green.
Funds are being raised with the Move For Music 5K race scheduled for March 22 and a wristband sale at Mike Greenwell's Bat-A-Ball and Family Fun Park on April 26.
Green said if the fundraising comes up short, the students will have to pay the difference out of their own pocket.
"For some individuals the cost might be too much for them to afford," said Green. "Of course, donations to the band are always welcome."
Cape Coral Rotary North stepped up to help the cause with a $2,000 donation.
Tickets to the Dine & Dance for D.C. are available in advance through the band directors as well as at the door of the event. Tickets are $30 for a couple or $20 per person.
For more information or to purchase tickets contact Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.