Pep Band "Pay to Play"
When this year's basketball season started, the Arlington Pep Band was given the opportunity to play six games, many games fewer than it has played in previous years. School administration set aside the six games to not only give the band the opportunity to play, but to also give as many people in the community the chance to see the teams play.
Pleased to be able to play, yet disappointed in a diminished opportunity, the band was approached by an individual who challenged the pep band to turn the "loss" into a "win" by "paying to play." The person indicated that during times of difficulty, it is easy to lose sight of what is happening around us, and wanted to shift the focus to meeting the needs of people who were having a more difficult time than perhaps we were experiencing.
The challenge given to the pep band was that each pep band member pay $1.00 "admission" every time they came to play for the games. When the season was over, the anonymous challenger would match the money raised and donate it to Feeding America, a United States-based nonprofit organization that is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other community-based agencies. The challenger told Mr. Sorensen that every dollar donated to Feeding America feeds ten people.
The pep band raised $85 over the six games they played. Halfway through the band's playing season, one of the students asked if the band could announce to the public that it was "paying to play" and invite people to donate also. Community participation raised an additional $185 above the band's "admission" - a total donation of $265. The anonymous challenger added $300 to the amount and $565 was sent to Feeding America. 5,650 people were fed as the result of the Arlington Pep Band and community supporting the "pay to play."
Mr. Sorensen thanks each band member and those in the community who donated to support the challenge, too. He also acknowledges and thanks the anonymous challenger/donor who matched and added to the money sent to Feeding America.
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