By TIM CLEVELAND
Keeping high school bands with up to date equipment, uniforms and having money for trips is expensive, so fundraisers are needed to keep things running smoothly. On March 1, the Boardman Band and Orchestra Parents organization had its third annual Night at the Races event at the Embassy, located at 5030 Youngstown Poland Road.
“This is our third fundraiser,” organization Vice President Diane Eliser said. “We had it here last year. It’s a great way to have a fundraiser and make some money for the band kids and orchestra kids.”
For the $10 ticket price, attendees received pizza, wings, hot chips, hors d’oveures and pop. There was also a Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle, a balloon pop and $2 bets on recorded horse races that were shown on a big screen. Professionals from Cleveland were hired to call the races.
Organizers said they expected 250-275 people to attend. Last year’s event raised $6,600 and hopes were high that this year would surpass that total.
Organizers started planning for the event right after the first of the year. All items in the Chinese auction were donated by parents and local businesses.
To keep the BBOP running smoothly, co-chair Yvonne Palagano said the band parents have made sure the organization will be strong after their children have graduated.
“Whenever you have senior parents that are leaving, they try and train parents of underclass kids that are coming up so the senior parents that did it last year trained us and now we’ll take over and train somebody else,” she said. “Chris Skeens [my co-chair] and I want to stress that BBOP couldn’t put on fundraisers like this if it wasn’t for the Boardman Community Businesses getting behind the band and orchestra and donating items for the Chinese auction and money to purchase extra things that we need, like food for a snack table, etc. The businesses and people of Boardman have always supported us for our Tag Day, Carwash, Pasta Dinner and Night at the Races, so that we can raise the funds to help the band and orchestra students go on marching band and performing trips and have the good experiences of participating in competitions so that we can make the community proud.”