Community donates labor, funds for new EUHS marching band trailer
VISALIA – Halftime show productions by high school bands is pretty involved. For 20 minutes every Friday night they wheel out their xylophones, ladders, drums, props and so much more. But when you think about how that all goes together when the band travels to competitions, it is a logistical nightmare; in particular when your trailer is decades old and unreliable.
For the Exeter Union High School marching band and color guard, their trailer transportation woes are over. On Saturday, Oct. 14 the EUHS band were able to safely transport their instruments and other equipment to the Visalia Band Review thanks to the generous donations of many local businesses, organizations and individuals.
According to band director, Kirk Clague, the band trailer was purchased used before he started teaching at EUHS many years ago. It is impossible for the band to perform at band competitions without a trailer but the years had taken its toll.
“It was becoming a real safety issue,” said Tim Jensen, the booster parent who spearheaded the trailer project this year. “The brakes were shot, the wiring wasn’t adequate. We knew we had to have the trailer rebuilt but did not have the funds to do it ourselves,” referring to the EUHS Music Boosters which already need to raise approximately $15,000 per year to cover band expenses that are necessary but are not covered by the district. “Because the trailer is essential to the kids’ ability to compete in band competitions, we decided to ask the community for help.”
One of the key participants in the trailer project has been Courage to Change, an organization that teaches practical skills to teenagers struggling with substance abuse. To date, Courage to Change has donated more than $10,000 in labor to completely refit the trailer. Funding for much of the needed supplies came from a grant from The UPS Foundation and monetary donations from the Exeter Lions Club, as well as from other sponsors including C-Thru Window Cleaning Inc., Education Employees Credit Union, Anne & Gary Hester, EUHS Class of 65, San Joaquin Valley Railroad, and the Kleinkramer Family. Local businesses that donated materials or labor for the trailer project include KRC Graphics, Starcraft Auto Paint & Body, AAA Overhead Door, Steve Cox Designs, High Sierra Lumber, Visalia Lumber Co, and TF Tire & Service.
EUHS Music Booster President, Debbie Morley, expressed her appreciation. “We want to thank everyone involved in the trailer renovation project. It just could not have happened without the community involvement we’ve had. It is amazing the number of businesses and individuals that came together to save the trailer and, consequently, the band’s marching season. We are so grateful!”