Last year, the Sunny Hills High School Lancer Regiment had to rent two, 26-foot-long U-Haul trucks to transport instruments such as tubas and saxophones for each football game and competition.
Even before that, when marching band instructor Whitney Ting was first hired on campus 10 years ago, Ting said she still used the U-Hauls.
However, Ting said she started to notice that other schools had their own mobile trailers to move instruments, equipment, tarps, Color Guard paraphernalia and more without relying on rented vehicles.
“I’ve been teaching here now for 10 years, and so I’m getting pretty tired of renting U-Hauls,” she said. “I could have gotten [my own trailer] earlier, but … I’ve wanted to get one because our band keeps on growing.”
So on Feb. 8, the marching band instructor set up a GoFundMe account with a fundraising goal of $10,000 by June 1 so she can buy a trailer.
“We need a trailer because we need to transport the instruments of the entire marching band every time,” Ting said in an email. “There are usually 70-80 musicians in the Regiment, which means 70-80 instruments, some of which are marimbas and vibraphones, which are pretty large instruments.”
After band members asked their friends and families for donations via email reminder around once a week, 69 people have donated so far, raising about $6,230, she said.
“It feels good to know that family and friends want to show their support,” Ting said. “We are still accepting donations. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far to our trailer fund.”
Once the band gets enough money to buy its own vehicle, Ting said she will go shopping with some band parents at a few different trailer dealerships around Southern California, such as those in Redlands and Fontana.
“I’m not afraid to drive pretty far to go shopping for a trailer, and I’ll bring parents who are more knowledgeable about trailers,” she said. “There are some dads who are handy and who want to build shelves inside.”
Senior section leader Celine Tseng, who plays marimba, acknowledges the importance of this GoFundMe campaign.
“I am one of the leaders who direct the U-Haul loading and having a trailer would be so much easier,” Tseng said. “Parents wouldn’t have to pick up any U-Haul super early in the morning [and] return it super late at night [after band performances].”
Upon purchasing its own mobile trailer, the band would like to build shelves inside to be able to fit more instruments efficiently. On the side of the trailer would read, “Sunny Hills High School Lancer Regiment,” printed in gold lettering with the Lancer logo next to it.
It could also feature some other insignias as well, Ting said.
“What a lot of schools do to raise money is ask businesses to put their logos on the back of their trucks for a donation, and you’ll see a lot of high school trucks with business sponsors, so that would be cool if we could do that,” she said.
A Lancer Regiment-owned vehicle would most benefit first-year band members, especially if they plan to remain with the group through their senior year. That’s the case with freshman Dylan DeSimone, who plays the xylophone.
“It’s OK if [people] don’t donate, but if they can donate any amount whether it’s $5 or $100, it’s greatly appreciated,” DeSimone said. “If they can’t donate, helping at events is much appreciated, too.”