When the Delton Schools Marching Band was invited to travel to Hawaii to perform in a parade commemorating Pearl Harbor Day, the community responded to help them get there.
“We started this journey last January after we received an invitation to perform in the 76th annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade,” band Director Sara Knight said.
“The band families, students, and I have learned a lot about getting donors, fund-raisers, and we have been overwhelmed by the community support,” she said. “Students have grown more comfortable speaking to others about this opportunity, and they have worked in many different settings to help raise money.
“I hope that they will become volunteers in their communities as adults after watching so many here give so much of their time and resources,” she said, “and, I hope students will gain a much deeper appreciation for those that serve in our armed forces, and a better understanding of what happened at Pearl Harbor.”
The history of December 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked a sleeping Pearl Harbor and brought America into World War II, will come alive for the students, some of whose great-grandfathers likely served during the war which ended four years later in June, 1945.
Carl Schoessel was Interim Superintendent in January. He also thinks the trip will let the students learn some of the history of D-Day and Pearl Harbor. Schoessel believes good things happen when people work together, and he said they did.
Students, parents, individuals, businesses and organizations, everyone, worked on raising funds for the trip, “and the planning committee pulled it all together. Everybody had to do their share and the community went above and beyond anyone’s expectations. The community was magnificent," he said. He credited Knight for her hard work to make the trip a reality.
Fundraisers included individual and business donations, a quilt raffle, fruit sales, a YAK sponsored breakfast, a live auction, a go-fund me page, a Delton Moose Build a (hot) Dog Day, Tupperware sales, Delton VFW Post 422 fish fry and a Hickory Corners American Legion Post 484 spaghetti dinner.
The trip is booked through Bennett Travel in Hastings, with a flight straight through from Chicago to Honolulu. “We travel from December 4-9, and we will have three performances while we are there, one with the U.S. Marine Band,” Knight said. Each student needed $2,475 for the trip, but thanks to the fundraising and donations, most paid about $600 out of pocket. Forty one of the 46 band members are traveling.
The bands schedule:
December 4: Travel day, arrive in Waikiki.
December 5: Performance at USS Missouri and visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
December 6: Island tour, Polynesian Culture Center.
December 7: Beach time followed by Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade and performance with the U.S. Marine Band. The parade will step off at 6 p.m. Hawaii time, and proceed through the heart of Waikiki down the famous Kalahua Avenue.
Some of the events that will commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor are the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade and Public Ceremony, USS Oklahoma Memorial ceremony, Freedom Bell Ringing and the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration.
The Pearl Harbor Visitors Bureau offers numerous tours for visitors to explore the Islands historic places, monuments and memorials. The Delton band was chosen to participate in the parade by the Pearl Harbor Memorial Association.
Photo: The Delton Marching Band at the Veterans Day program on Nov. 10.