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UL Band gives New Year’s surprise

BELMONT — Union Local School District band members and band boosters delivered food and happy New Years wishes to families in the district on New Year’s Day.

“The band boosters put the project together, called March it Forward,” band director April Linard said. “It was kind of similar to Paying it Forward, with ‘it’ being the band. It was a chance for us to collect donations to provide meals to people or families in our community who may need a hot meal on New Year’s Day.

“A lot of people focus on providing meals over Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there isn’t a lot of focus on the New Year, and so we decided to put together this project to focus on New Year’s Day. The boosters, the students and the parents went out, seeking donations from their families, from local businesses, from school employees,” she said.

In addition, Linard said they collected names and addresses of people in the school district communities who would appreciate a New Year’s gift.

“Our goal was to deliver 300 meals, and I know we came close to that. We did not reach that goal, but we did come close,” she said. “The band boosters were the members who were organizing and preparing the food and getting the names. Our marching band members were the kids who were delivering the meals, along with their parents, to the community members on New Year’s Day.”

Linard said the project also raised money for the band’s percussion equipment.

In prior Union Local board of education meetings, administrators and educators said the district also focused on encouraging community outreach and a culture of compassion.

“I received a text message from one of my students while they were delivering the meals,” Linard said, and shared the message from Madelyn Winland, a junior.

“They were so kind and appreciative. They were so happy. It was so much fun. I loved seeing so many happy and grateful people,” the text read.

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