In 2004, a mercury spill closed Ballou and bullets flew in the halls. Watson applied to compete in the Home Depot Battle of the Bands — and won. “After those horrific events,” he said, “we needed some light on our school.”
With no help from the school or the city, Ballou raised funds and traveled and won acclaim. In Michelle Rhee’s first week as chancellor, she met with Watson and agreed to finance new instruments. “She answered our prayers,” he says. The band appeared on TV shows and is the subject of a movie. Last year, the invitations to the Rose Bowl and Macy’s came, but the money to make the trips did not.
The band needs $210,000 by November for travel, lodging and meals. They have raised $41,000 so far.
Why donate? Try this: “Music keeps us kids off the street,” says Terrell Thomas, who graduated last year but has volunteered to teach the band. “If I hadn’t had some place to go after school until 8 o’clock, I could have gotten into trouble.”
Send donations to Ballou Band Booster Association, P.O. Box 6969, Washington, DC, 20032. Or visit balloumovie.com to donate online.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Ballou's Marching Knights need help (financial)
Harry Jaffe of the DC Examiner is yet again making the call for help with funding the Ballou Marching Knights marching band.