By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A long-planned trip to Disney World is once again a go for the Bluefield High School Beaver Band thanks to an outpouring of community support.
The student trip was in danger of being canceled earlier this fall after the band boosters concession stand at Mitchell Stadium was robbed by a still unknown bandit. The boosters lost approximately $1,000 worth of concessions as a result of the theft. The money made from concession sales throughout the summer and school year was being used to help finance the trip to Disney World in the spring.
When a campaign was launched by the Daily Telegraph to help the band boosters recover their loss, the community responded in overwhelming fashion. The $2,000 goal was met when Grant’s Supermarket donated $1,000 toward the campaign. In all, $2,573 was raised for the band boosters to help get the kids to Disney World.
Daily Telegraph Publisher Darryl Hudson joined Ron Martin of Grant’s Supermarket Thursday in presenting the check for $2,573 to BHS Band Director David Wilson and the 34-member strong band.
Wilson said he — and his students — were pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of community support. And donations came from everywhere, including the Princeton Senior High School Band.
“I was really actually impressed by it,” Wilson said. “A lot of people called me about it and asked what could they do to help. I never had that many phone calls.”
Wilson said the band kids are often overshadowed by football, basketball and other high school athletics. But when the band members found themselves front and center — and on the front page of the Daily Telegraph following the theft at Mitchell Stadium — they were surprised by all of the attention, Wilson said.
But the good news now is the students are heading to Disney World after all in May, Wilson said. But until then — they will keep on performing. In fact, Wilson said the band will be performing their annual Christmas concert on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. at Bluefield High school.
Martin said Grant’s Supermarket was happy to help the band kids after reading about the theft at Mitchell Stadium in the Daily Telegraph.
“We pretty much help everything local,” Martin said. “When we saw that (in the newspaper) we were just disappointed that they lost all of their supplies and were not going to be able to go. Like we do with everything else, we tried to help make it a success.”
Hudson said he felt compelled to launch the newspaper campaign to help the band students after learning of the theft.
“I was just so shocked when I heard about the theft from the students who were working hard to get a trip,” Hudson said. “I just think that was a priority of ours to get it back. We just live in such a great community that is willing to step up and help.”
Wilson said police have not yet located the individual or individuals who broke into the band boosters concession stand at Mitchell Stadium.
The $2,000 goal was met with help from the following individuals: Grant’s Supermarket, $1,000; Bluefield Daily Telegraph, $200; Cole Chevy, $186; Jack and Pam Brewster, $100; Jeanne Ameli, $100; Michael Romeo, $100; Tom and Janie Farmer, $100; Jack Kaufman, $100; Kenneth and Kathryn Gray, $100; Emily and Richard Ross, $100; Princeton Senior High School Band, $100; George and Susan Smith, $100; Carole Cole, $50; Oliver Law, $50; Wayne and Linda Walker, $50; Carol and Harold Collins, $25; Vearl Cayton, $25; Eric and Rhonda Hawkins, $25; Margaret and Charles Bartley, $20; Rev. George and Lynee Stamper, $20; Terry Morgan, $10; George Brooks, $10; and Grant Rogers Jr., $2.
— Contact Charles Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org