"We want to support a big new band and help them march out this September," Bruce Blanton of the Springhill Rotary Club said. "Regardless of how you feel about the school consolidation, we need to make the best of it for the kids.
"We know there are some not for it (the merging of schools)," he continued. "But it is happening and it is important we show these kids we support them- even if you do not support the change."
Four north Webster high schools – Cotton Valley, Sarepta, Shongaloo and Springhill – will be merged into one campus located in Springhill.This change was made in order to help put the Webster Parish School Board in a better financial position.
"Opportunities to participate in band at those (Cotton Valley, Sarepta, Shongaloo) schools were very limited," Blanton said. "The Springhill Rotary Club wants to make sure plenty of instruments are in stock to supply a much greater demand for band activity."
In order to encourage students to join the band and foster friendships, the club has started an instrument drive
"People may have band instruments that they would like to get rid of to free up storage space in attics, garages and closets," Blanton said. "Maybe these instruments haven't been used for a long time, but very likely they can be refurbished and put back to use in a bigger and better band at the new North Webster high school."
Examples of instruments the Rotarians are looking for include saxophones, trumpets, clarinets, flutes, tubas or repairable band instruments of any kind. Blanton said the club will also accept cash donations to buy or repair band instruments.
"Learning music is a lifetime benefit to the student and music students generally score better on academic tests," said Blanton. "Students can earn scholarships resulting from playing in the band. You can also play an instrument all through out life there comes a time when you can't play football anymore.
"We take great pride in our school," he continued. "We want all future students to take pride in it, too. We want students to look back on their high school experience in 25 years and think 'those were great times.'"
Donors of instruments or funds are asked to contact Bruce Blanton at 539-3141, Robert Bryan at 539-5806 or any Springhill Rotary Club member.