Penny Sitler is our advertising manager, the tweeter behind @draperinc, and the editor of this blog. She’s also the proud mother of two teenagers who marched with the Lincoln High School band this summer. Here’s her story.
Lincoln High School is a small public high school in Cambridge City, Indiana, about 15 miles from Spiceland. It’s one of relatively few area schools that boasts a summer marching band. The Lincoln Marching Golden Eagles aren’t champions, but they work hard, have a great time, and participate in several competitions each summer, culminating in the Indiana State Fair Band Day. Under the leadership of their director, Kathryn Ray, they improve their scores and meet new goals each year.
Last spring, as plans were being made for Lincoln’s summer marching program, Henryville High School in southern Indiana took a direct hit from a violent tornado. The school had to be shuttered for reconstruction for the rest of the spring and summer, and has only recently reopened.
Besides the huge damage to the building and its furnishings, much of which was covered by insurance, the Henryville Golden Hornet Band lost instruments, music, music stands, and uniforms. When Mrs. Ray and her band heard about this loss, they wanted to help. Lincoln decided to donate all their winnings from their summer marching season to Henryville. Since the Golden Eagles were marching for the Golden Hornets, they called it Marching for Golden. And, as always, they set an ambitious goal: $2000.
The season opened with a struggle, as the Lincoln Golden Eagles placed 8th of 9 bands in their first competition. They rose steadily from there, and placed 23rd of 46 bands at the Indiana State Fair, with the best score they have ever achieved. However, their total winnings still didn’t meet the $2000 goal. Until the community relations director at Marsh Supermarkets, sponsor of Band Day, made a surprise announcement that Marsh would double Lincoln’s winnings for that competition, from $850 to $1700, to increase the gift to Henryville.
This weekend, Cambridge City will host its annual Canal Days festival and parade, much like the Freedom Days event in Spiceland that we wrote about a few weeks ago. The heroes of that parade will be the Marching Golden Eagles, followed by a float filled with members of the Henryville Golden Hornets (whose traveling expenses will be paid by the Cambridge City Chamber of Commerce). Henryville’s band director will accept a check for $2300. And Lincoln’s Music Boosters will host a tailgate party for both bands. It will be a fitting way to celebrate a great season and a generous gift from a small band with a really big heart.