Newton band collects enough money for Sugar Bowl trip

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

COVINGTON -- Members of the Newton High School band now know more than almost anyone in this town that community support can help you achieve your dreams.

A few weeks ago, the band received word that it was invited to the 2011 Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans to perform as part of the half-time show.

The band collected about $25,000 through various fundraisers for about 45 members to make the trip to the Superdome. However, after putting all of their efforts forward with car washes and bagging groceries, the members knew they needed a little more help to raise at least an extra $6,000 they needed to make the trip.

"With money being so tight these days, it's hard to get people to donate, even if its for a great cause," said NHS band director Jason Smith at the time.

But after the word got out in the community that the band needed help, many stepped forward to give the band some extra assistance.

"We have received over $9,000 in donations," Smith announced this week.

Over the past few weeks, the band collected more than $1,000 from the Rotary Club of Covington, $1,000 from the Police Who Care group at the Covington Police Department and other funds from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, a group of NHS teachers, T.K. and Louise Adams and several other Newton County residents.

"I cannot say thank you enough," Smith said. "We are well on our way to represent Newton High School and the entire Covington community."

Funds will cover transportation, meals and incidentals, Smith said.

The band is scheduled to perform a four-minute medley at half time as part of a mass band performance with nearly 20 other bands from around the country on Jan. 4 at the Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints football team. The NHS band also will have some stand-alone performances in the historic French Quarter and at a gazebo on the Mississippi River while in New Orleans.