KAYSVILLE -- The parking lot of Davis High School was converted to a carnival Saturday as hundreds of people came to support the school's marching band in its efforts to pay for a trip to the Rose Parade.
The school's 290-member marching band will perform on New Year's Day in the prestigious Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
Steven Hendricks, the band's director, set the goal in January, shortly after being awarded the honor of participating in the parade, to raise $200,000.
After months of hard work and fundraising, the group is approaching the $50,000 mark.
"We've had great support from the community," Hendricks said. "We're doing pretty well, considering we are in the midst of a recession, and that is the biggest reason we are trying to help the kids with the cost."
He said the $50,000 they have raised so far will get the students to the Rose Parade at an out-of-pocket cost of $800 each.
He was hoping to raise the additional funds to replace instruments, such as a dozen sousaphones at $4,600 each.
Hendricks also wanted to replace the band's mellophones, but admits this purchase is now a "pipe dream."
Organizers hoped the carnival might bring in another $10,000 to add to the total. As of Monday, officials were still calculating the amount raised.
The carnival consisted of games, prizes, drawings, food, and even a little karaoke.
Ed Kenley Ford partnered with the band and brought several new vehicles to the carnival. For every valid test drive completed, Ford Motor Company donated $20, up to a maximum donation of $6,000.
Also part of the carnival was a tailgate cook-off competition and a 51/2-mile family fun run. That happens to be the same length as the route of the Rose Parade.
Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt brought his family to the event and reluctantly became a victim in the dunk tank.
"It's for a good cause," he said, as children and teens lined up for their chance to dunk the mayor.
Toni Blackwell, of City First Mortgage Services, was at the event, advertising that she will donate $500 of any refinance or new home purchase to the band to help pay for its travel costs.
Blackwell said she is doing it to help out her brother, Chase Blackwell, who is the head drum major for the band this year.
"I knew that they needed to raise a lot of money to go to California for the Rose Parade. It is such an opportunity for them, so any way that we can help," she said.
"I am so excited. It's an opportunity of a lifetime," said Chase Blackwell, 17.
Organizers have also applied for several grants in hopes of raising more funds.