Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 will be traveling to Pasadena, CA to represent the university at America’s largest New Year’s celebration, The Tournament of Roses.
The event originally began as a promotional tool to showcase the natural beauty and elegance of Pasadena. The Valley Hunt Club creatively wanted to increase the charm of the area and create a competition for participants to freely decorate their carriages using the locally grown blooms.
The Marching 100 arguably serves as one of the most salient ambassadors of the university and took the initiative to set forth the goal to participate in this annual celebration.
Myrcele Neal-Scott, President of the Marching 100 shared some insight on the rigorous journey on receiving donations and funding to cover the cost for the band to travel.
“It wasn’t easy at all getting the money for the band to be able to participate in the parade it took plenty of hardships to get here,” said Scott. “We took advantage of every fundraiser we did this summer and are grateful for this opportunity appreciate all the support for the band to experience something on this level.”
Each member of the band planning to march this academic year was assessed a financial obligation for the cost of uniforms, equipment and plane tickets for Pasadena.
To help alleviate the costs and lessen the burden on the students, the band took the initiative to fundraise and ask for generous donations to place towards the cost for the students in need. The fundraisers were, but not limited to: car washes, donation drives, Pasadena T-shirt sells, and much more.
Cori Bostic, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student talked about how local sponsors really made the process easier.
“Through it all we greatly appreciate all the support from our local sponsors and donors throughout the semester,” said Bostic. “I hope in the near future when the band is granted this kind of opportunity again, there will be just as much support from everyone if not more. Please continue to support us.”
The marching band also took advantage of their local churches and non-profit organizations to support them by performing at fundraising events such as “College Day” or “Marching 100 Day.”
Mt. Sinai AME Church recently donated $1,000 towards the goal of Pasadena.
Outside of other organizations donating the band received personal donations from pivotal individuals to showcase their support such as Bernard Kinsey, Dr. Shelby Chipman and the band staff.
Richard Danford, a fourth-year music education major shared his gratitude for this opportunity before taking his last march at FAMU.
“It’s definitely two different types of feelings. I just finished marching my last season with the marching 100 and it feels so surreal,” said Danford. “But to experience California for the first time will be amazing and being able to travel and do what I love to do because I live and breathe just to play music. Doing this for the university to be represented is a great experience.”
Any individuals who are interested in donating are encouraged to visit: www.themarching100.com
The 130th Tournament of Roses parade will take place on January 1s at 8 a.m. PST.