By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners proudly presented a $5,000 check to the Newsome High School Wolfpack Marching Band in support of its selection as the first high school marching band from the county to ever receive an invitation to the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
County Commissioner Stacy White, was on hand for the check presentation ceremony during a recent football game halftime show last month. White said that the money is given to the band with great pride by the BOCC to cover the band’s travel expenses in connection with the upcoming trip to New York City.
“This is a big deal for both Newsome High School and Hillsborough County as a whole,” White said. “What better way to showcase our county than to have one of our high school bands appear on national television as part of this wonderful American tradition that tens of millions of viewers will be tuned in to.”
Macy’s parade representative, Wesley Whatley, said that the band will perform in front of more than three million spectators on the streets of New York City and, more than 50 million people that will be watching the parade on television.
The Wolfpack Marching Band is one of just ten high school marching bands and, the only Florida band to perform in 2016 parade.
Wolfpack Marching Band Director Michael Miller put things in perspective when he said, “This is about as great of an honor as it gets. You guys have worked hard and it paid off.”
Of course, Newsome’s ‘March to Macy’s’ is not cheap and, according to Miller, with more funds needed the community’s generosity and monetary support is much welcomed.
“We are bringing 175 students and 225 friends and family members,” Miller said. “We are accepting monetary donations to help cover the cost of fuel for our equipment trucks, and cold weather gear for the students.
Donations can be made directly to the Newsome Band Boosters or visit https://www.gofundme.com/NewsomeHSBand?utm_medium=wdgt The band has been working hard to raise the necessary funds to cover the expenses.”
The trip’s total estimated cost is approximately $750,000. The band has raised approximately $150,000 over an 18 month period to supplement the its operational budget and eliminate any extra band fees beyond the cost of going on the trip. “I wanted to personally thank Kelly Smith and Roxanne Salabarria, our past and present fundraising chairs respectively, the Newsome Band Boosters organization and the entire Newsome High School community for their belief, trust, and support,” Miller said.
Residents can support the band by attending the Florida Marching Band Coalition State semi-finals on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. until noon, hosted by Newsome High School. While, the Wolfpack will not perform at the semi-finals, attending the event will help the band with its continued fundraising efforts. Newsome High School is located at 16550 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. For more information about the band, visit newsomeband.com. or contact Newsome High School at 740-4600.
To watch the Wolfpack live on Thanksgiving morning, November 24, 2016, tune in to NBC.