School alum helps Rickards raise funds

A Rickards Senior High School alum convinced his class to produce a talent show to help fund Rickard’s band trip to perform in the National Independence Parade in Washington D.C.

Jimmie Thomas, 24, a senior broadcast student from Tallahassee said he was watching a newscast that said the high school band was in the process of fundraising and needed additional funds.

With that information, Thomas and his classmates decided to help the band fund the trip with the proceeds that would be raised by an event that would count as their final project.

“We knew we couldn’t keep the money, so as a class we decided to put on a talent show. That way the event would be cost-effective and it would draw a diverse crowd so the band would receive more money,” Thomas said.

Florida A&M alum and Band Director of Rickards High School Band, Quincy Griffin said he was “blessed beyond measure.”

“This class put on an event that could have produced revenue for anything but they chose to give it to the band,” Griffin said. “It was a very unselfish act and their blessing is on the way.”

Griffin said students who usually receive an opportunity to raise money keep it for themselves.

“Most students feel they have to give something to get something,” he said.

“The invitation was genuine.”

He also said he loved the experience for the kids.

“It was a great opportunity for the Rickard students to see that you have to give,” he said. “In the process you (also) learn how to give and not just do it because someone expects you to. What you sow is what you reap.”

The Sports Recreation and Facility Management class, who called themselves LEI promotions, named after the prefix of the class, produced “Tallahassee’s Got Talent” Thursday night.

The show was hosted by Brooke England of 90.5, and featured participants who showcased Hip-Hop dances, singing, poetry, rapping and stepping. There was also a special guest performance by “Sonny Rich,” who performed his No.1 independent song on the Billboard charts and No.1 independent song on, “Stunner.”

“The performers were really good and they kept my attention,” Camille Forde, 19, a history education student from Ft. Lauderdale said.

Although the performers kept the audience’s attention, to some, the number of audience members was a disappointment.

“There was no crowd participation,” said Forde. “It would have been much better if more people came.”

Melissa Noland, former Rickards student intern and professor of the Sports Recreation and Facility Management class agreed.

“The show was a success but we wanted more of a turn out so we could have a variety of audience members and of course more money to go toward the band trip,” Noland said.

According to Noland, the event raised $300, minus expenses for security and in-house keeping, to give to the band.

“It was always about giving to a worthy cause,” she said.

Christina Parsons, 23, a senior biology pre-med student from Jacksonville and a LEI Promotions marketing representative said this was not the first time her class gave back to the community.

“Because we did this before, our experience was smooth and productive,” parsons said.

LEI promotions’ first project was a street ball tournament in conjunction with FAMUnity. All proceeds went to Tallahassee’s Big Bend.