Last month, my 2-year-old daughter broke her leg in a freak accident at an indoor playground. She stopped crying in about 5 minutes, and 30 minutes later was already limping around happily on the doctor’s examining table. I couldn’t keep her down, and the doctors almost didn’t want to cast her.
As a parent, I never imagined that my toddler would be in a cast, but sometimes the unimaginable can happen in an instant.
That’s what happened on Sunday, May 22 at 5:41 p.m. to the entire city of Joplin, Mo., when a deadly tornado killed at least 156 people and damaged more than 8,000 buildings. Just an hour earlier, 450 high school seniors graduated from Joplin High School; then, the building they had known in the prime of their teenage years was blown apart. In the district, seven students and a staff member died.
Rescue workers arrived quickly and in the thousands to help survivors pick up the pieces. For Joplin students, school will begin on Aug. 17, but it won’t be as usual. Ten out of 18 district buildings suffered damage, and 62 percent of the entire student population is displaced. The music program itself needs $3.7 million to replace all of its instruments, sheet music and equipment.
Thankfully, the program has already received hundreds of thousands of dollars in product and cash donations. We want to do our part to help the Joplin Eagle Pride Marching Band soar high again and will be collecting and donating money toward student band fees. At $85 for each of the 139 members, the total need is $11,815. Please consider joining us to pledge $85 to sponsor a Joplin student. However, even smaller amounts add up quickly.
Write your check to Joplin Band Boosters and send it to:
Joplin Band Fee Fund
c/o Halftime Magazine
P.O. Box 428738
Cincinnati, OH 45242
100% of your donation will be given to the Joplin Band and is completely tax-deductible.
Before you even read this letter, my daughter will already have gotten her cast off, and her leg will be as good as new. The town of Joplin will eventually get better as well.
According to Rick Castor, director of instrumental music for the school district and the high school band director, “the wind can’t stop the music.” Let’s help make that statement a reality.
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief