Band to host community food drive Sept. 23-25


Photo by Andie San Luis

Sophomore Jack Strahan and freshman Nikhil Pimpalapure march during class on Sept. 22. Volunteers for the food drive will collect donations next to the Hebron Band trailer, which is parked outside of the band hall and auditorium.

The band will host a community food drive from Sept. 23 – 25 with donations going to North Texas Food Bank. The food drive is a part of the Tournament of Roses’s “Band Cares” program. 

“[‘Band Cares’] is a community-oriented service project to benefit local communities or communities in California [through] service projects for the performing organizations,” head band director Andy Sealy said. “[The service project] can be an independent program — which is the way we’re running it, to benefit local community projects — but there is an option of doing a similar service project in California during the time we would be there.”

Volunteers will be accepting donations at the band trailer on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Donations will also be accepted on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., before and after the band’s parent performance. 

“I started looking at statistics of students that were food insecure [here] in the surrounding Hebron area,” Hebron Tournament of Roses committee chairman Vonda Dyer said. “We have a fair amount of students who are food insecure — and that has to be [the case] for some of the families in the band [as well.] Our goal is to attempt to fill the band trailer [with food donations.]” 

Donation boxes are being placed at feeder elementary and middle schools. The school will be handing out bags to fill with needed food items to high school students as well. 

“We’re trying to [make] our kids and families more aware of their potential for impact and outreach within our community,” Sealy said. “In so many ways, we’re trying to fulfill the parade’s theme [of ‘Dream. Believe. Achieve.’] every day.”

Tournament of Roses President, Dr. Robert Miller, will be visiting Texas from Sept. 23 – 26. Miller is currently touring the nation to visit groups performing in the parade. Hebron is the only band from Texas that was invited to the 2022 parade. 

“We’ve had great responses from our community in the effort to do this,” Dyer said. “North Texas Food Bank was very willing to work with us [on collection donations], and one of our volunteers reached out to Sam’s Club, who donated 10,000 bags [to collect food donations] for us to hand out to families. We are so grateful to everyone in the community for their engagement and willingness to give back.”

In addition to the food drive, the band will be hosting parent performance on Sept. 25 to showcase its 2021 marching show, and a barbecue dinner on Sept. 26 with Miller. The band will also  hold a shoe drive between Thanksgiving and Christmas, independent from the “Band Cares” program; however, an exact date for the drive has not been decided. 

“The [band] program hopes to instill a continued sense of gratitude to the community,” Dyer said. “We want our students to want to give back. Our desire [is] to be a presence in the community and be a presence that’s felt in a positive way — we are a nonprofit with the ability to do more than ask for money and play music.”