A fundraising effort to raise $125,000 to send the Columbus North High School Band to the inaugural parade is being extended.
Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, who has been leading the charge to raise the money, said $31,305 had been pledged as of Thursday night, with two other pledges pending as to the amount.
Another $8,000 came in Friday, enough to convince Smith he might be gaining traction to get to the thousands needed to send the band to Washington D.C. in January for Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s inauguration. Because of that, he’ll continue accepting pledges until Tuesday in the hopes more givers step forward before then.
“At this time I would only be guessing if I tried to predict how much the two undetermined pledges will commit to,” Smith said.
“I am confident more are to come, especially if they know the (fundraising) blitz has been extended to Tuesday.”
About 1,000 emails have been sent out to all North band boosters, band parents and students asking them to pledge to the effort.
Smith is asking local residents and businesses to consider just pledging $625, the cost to send one of the band members on the trip. An estimated 200 band members and staff are hoping to go.
No money is being collected at this time — only pledges, Smith said.
If the effort reaches $125,000, that’s when Smith will reach out again for the money behind the pledge.
The band is expecting an invitation from the inaugural parade committee as Pence, a 1977 Columbus North graduate, had asked that the band participate.
An account has been established at Salin Bank’s locations in Columbus and Edinburgh to accept donations under the title “Columbus North Band Boosters inaugural parade fund.”
Smith is asking anyone wishing to make a pledge to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.