Gerald Ricke, Director of Bands
address: 18725 Bates Avenue, Eustis, FL 32736
phone: 352-357-6220

Monday, September 9, 2013

Eustis Mustangs need a Band trailer to hold their new Steel Drums!

We do know The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:
* Success in society
* Success in school
* Success in developing intelligence
* Success in life

OUTREACH . Our program has an unusual way of reaching the children that are not always easy to reach using traditional teaching methods. Our program has an award winning Steel Drum Ensemble.

The fact is the Mustang Band has over 10 percent of the student body as students.
Half of the student body here at the school qualifies for free lunch. So without saying our program is very important for a large amount of students. Over the summer the program improved The Steel Drum Ensemble by adding voices. Voices are what we call drums. By improving our Steel Drum Ensemble it ensures the band can make more students interested in joining bad. The more students that can participate is more students we can reach. * Students who participated in band reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse).

Our need is huge for a larger trailer to carry the entire band. prior to this summer the band equipment barely fit, the children load all the instruments themselves. They do a great job organizing everything into the compartments and straps. Regardless the fit is tight.  And that is with the children carrying their own instruments to the venues. Each year we are invited to more and more events. Each year more and more children participate in the band.  With the new drums the fit is impossible with our old trailer.

The need is to get the entire band to the various community events, contests and festivals. But the new sets of Steel Drums have made the new trailer a necessity.  We have researched and know that a trailer that will carry the band equipment around safely is $7,000. We feel any help with any amount towards that huge goal it would make our year! The trailer is a necessity for getting the band to all their community events, festivals and contests. There is no room in the budget since we are funded with less than 10 percent of our funds coming from the county. So The Music Association works hard to raise the funds for all the entry fees and various other needs. We know that a new trailer is going to be a hard thing to raise funds for. The students help by doing their own fundraisers but still it is out of reach.

Eustis will be proud to know that The Eustis High School Panther Band has brought Steel Drums to their long list of instrumental groups.

The fact is Eustis has so many great role models in their schools. Many are members of the arts programs that are provided. We notice that many of the Mustang students progress to the Eustis Panther Program. This is an excellent program with Mr. Flenner as director, statistics show that test scores will go up just by The Panthers having Steel Drums. Attendance rates will rise and that means more children staying in the music education program. Since children statistically learn easier if they play an instrument test scores will rise naturally.

We all have read in the papers that Lake County needs help in most of our schools with test scores. But most schools are not lucky enough to have such a great director like Mr. Gerald Ricke. Who has taken the last 20 years of his life to teach right here perfecting the program to what it is today. We feel one of the answers to this city's future is music education. Long term. From Elementary to High School and beyond.  

Please if you could consider a grant that would help us purchase a new/used band trailer in order for us to fit all of our instruments safely while traveling to all of the community events and contest we attend. We have researched the cost and know it to be about $7,000.00.

The giving does not stop. Once we are able to purchase a new trailer we will sell our old trailer and give 100 percent of the funds to The Eustis Panther Band for their new Steel Drum Program. It takes a community to take care of a community. With each Voice or Steel Drum costing over $1,000 we know they can use this donation. It is The Mustangs Way of giving back. And giving to the High School Band Program ensures our communities future. Other cities, counties and  states are raising their graduation rates to 94 percent. Just by adding a long term music program such as the one Eustis is so lucky to have.

There is also a long term payoff to having a band trailer. We sell ads throughout the year. Once a business purchases an ad on our band trailer it means one more student can attend band using our scholarship program. The more underprivileged children we can bring into the program the brighter our cities future will be.  That is why the trailer is also our traveling billboard. It goes with us to all events and follows us in all parades.

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