Funds adds up for band

Jill Fier

Jill Fier

Final monetary numbers are not yet available, but the raffle for two Volkswagen Beetles–one yellow, one blue–raised about $230,000 for the SDSU Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band.

The group will leave at the end of December to march in the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day.

The trip costs about $1,300 per person, but students were only responsible for raising $650, and the administration came up with the rest of the money, band director James McKinney said.

To help raise the money for the trip, each student was given 65 raffle tickets to sell at $10 apiece. Many students sold all their tickets and even finished selling tickets for others. Other tickets were sold directly from the SDSU Alumni Association. All of the ticket money went to the students.

Alumni Association Director V.J. Smith said the Alumni Association worked hard to make the trip possible for the band.

They coordinated the raffle campaign, sold some ticket themselves, and helped arrange travel plans for over 700 people going on the trip, Smith said.

“The Foundation put up the money for the Beetles until we sold the tickets,” McKinney said.

Parents of band members won both of the cars. Jerilynn Mehlbrech of Sioux Falls won the yellow car, and Joan Feistner, also of Sioux Falls, won the blue car. Their names were announced at the Nov. 16 indoor concert at the Brookings Area Multiplex.

The indoor concert previewed the music they are preparing for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

McKinney said the amount of money raised from the indoor concert is not available because they are still negotiating expenses, but the turnout at the concert was good.

The SDSU Foundation was also instrumental in raising money for the trip.

Monetary donations for the trip have been as small as $10 and as large as $2,500, McKinney said. A total amount of donations received so far was not available.

Rose Bowl pins have also been on sale around campus and at local businesses for $5 apiece. As of now, the pins not made any money.

McKinney said he hopes to sell more while the band is in California, and thought the pins were good advertising for the band.

McKinney said he recently learned that the band will also be one of only three bands featured on a pre-show airing on KTLA channel 5, a Warner Brothers network affiliate out of Los Angeles, two hours before the parade.

The show will feature performances by each of the bands, as well as interviews of band directors and band members.

McKinney said the parade has around 1.5 million viewers live and over 400 million through its television broadcasts.

“To expose SDSU to that many people, I think, is unprecedented,” he said. “We want to make the state and the university proud.”