Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Due to budget cuts, the Roosevelt High School band in Minneapolis barely existed two years ago. Now, six teachers are hoping to raise funds by running the ultimate race.
At the high school, one of the biggest challenges is that there were not enough instruments for all the students.
“Students want to play. If their families don’t have money to buy an instrument, they don’t play. That’s what we’re trying to change,” said band director Tom Wells.
When he took the job two years ago, he was up for a new challenge. Recruiting new musicians was the easy part. On his first day, he had two students, now he has 85.
Wells says most of the schools instruments were given away as the program went downhill. The few that were left were in rotten shape. Some of these students are playing their own, while other aspiring musicians don’t even have an instrument to play.
Money for the instruments is money the school doesn’t have, so the band director has decided he’ll make a run for it.
So, Wells and five other teachers created a fundraiser with a fitting name, “Band on the Run.” They’ll lace up their shoes and run 26.1 miles at the Twin Cities marathon in hopes of raising $25,000 for the music program.
Although it’s an exhausting and a demanding feat, for Wells it’s about creating opportunity for current and future students.
“Number of students who hadn’t played in three or four years and just picked up an instrument or never played before and decided they wanted to play, that’s inspiring,” said Wells.
So far, they’ve raised $8,000. They’ve got a month to raise the rest.
They put together a Facebook page, titled Band on the Run.