Generous Highline community sends students to inauguration

Highline Public Schools press release:

Thanks to the very generous Highline community, the Global Connections High School wind ensemble will travel to Washington, D.C. January 18 to perform at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Music Festival.

“I am delighted to announce that our $60,000 goal has been met and exceeded,” said Rick Harwood, Principal of Global Connections High School. “Our community has demonstrated in a big way just how much it cares about all students.”

Many individuals and organizations pitched in to reach the goal. Parents hosted potlucks, and students sold Entertainment Books. More than 50 percent of the funds were raised at a special event, An Evening of Jazz and Friends.

The largest individual donation came from Congressman Adam Smith, an alumnus of Tyee High School. Rep. Smith made a personal visit to the Tyee Educational Complex, where Global Connections is located, to congratulate wind ensemble students.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our community,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “I want to thank every person who contributed in any way to send the wind ensemble to play in the Presidential Inauguration Music Festival. Raising $60,000 within a few months was a daunting goal. I want to especially thank the Highline Schools Foundation, Cedarbrook Lodge, SeaTac Rotary, and Mikes Community Cup,” said Dr. Enfield.

The fundraising effort captured the attention of many in the community. The trip to the nation’s capital seemed out of reach at first, since nearly 80 percent of Global Connections students qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

The story generated coverage on KOMO-TV News and its Burien blog, KING-TV’s Evening Magazine, the B-Town Blog, Highline Times, and the Seattle Times.

The Wind Ensemble is one of only four bands invited to perform at the Presidential Inauguration Music Festival without being required to audition. The group will perform at the festival, witness the Oath of Office and the Presidential Address at the National Mall, tour the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, MLK Memorial, and U.S. government buildings, visit several Smithsonian Museums, attend a performance at the Kennedy Center, attend the Inauguration Social Celebration, and observe, perform, and exchange with music

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