For rising sophomore Yhanique Jenkins, representing her university and state in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., is an honor that few musicians have the chance to experience. For her and nearly 150 Albany State University Marching Band members, preparing for the internationally televised event is only half the battle. The other half is raising the money to get there.
To cover the nearly $250,000 needed for expenses, the university has taken to social media. Through crowd-funding site “GoFundMe,” ASU has set a goal of $50,000 by September 1.
“A majority of today’s givers are connected to social media in so many ways,” said Andrew Floyd, ASU director of development. “We would be negligent if we didn’t fully utilize its potential as we spread the word about our “Rams in the Roses and Beyond” nationwide giving campaign.”
The ASU Marching Band will perform in the New Year’s Day celebration as more than 80 million viewers in the U.S. and 200 countries watch. The band is the only band in the state of Georgia and the Southeastern region to participate in the event that serves as a prelude to the nation’s oldest bowl game.
“There are few performing opportunities that supersede the Tournament of Roses Parade. It is arguably the premier event of its kind in the world,” said Band Director Michael Decuir. “My students will gain an experience that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Millions will see and hear the quality of our music program and our university.”
To meet the $250,000 campaign goal, band members are charged with raising a portion of travel funds.
“The entire community supports the band,” Jenkins said.
The university is also reaching out to local and national supporters.
“As a “Rams in the Roses and Beyond” donor, you have a unique opportunity to support the Marching Rams in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade,” said Chanta Haywood, vice president of Institutional Advancement and ASU Foundation president. “Your donation will make dreams come true for members of the ‘band with the big sound’ as they represent all of Georgia and the Southeastern United States on an international stage.”
To donate to the “Rams in the Roses and Beyond” campaign, visit http://www.gofundme.com/RamsintheRoses.
About Albany State University
Albany State University, in Southwest Georgia, has been a catalyst for change in the region from its inception as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute to its designation as a university. Founded in 1903 to educate African-American youth, the university continues to fulfill its historic mission while also serving the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population. A progressive institution, Albany State University seeks to foster the growth and development of the region, state and nation through teaching, research, creative expression and public service. Through its collaborative efforts, the university responds to the needs of all of its constituents and offers educational programs and service to improve the quality of life in Southwest Georgia. For more information see http://www.asurams.edu . Follow the university on Twitter at @AlbanyStateUniv and on Facebook at Albany State University Official Page.
Source: Danyelle Gary, Albany State University