(Seguin) -- Donating to the Seguin High School Band's trip to Carnegie Hall just got easier. A Crowdrise.com account is now available for those unable to donate locally during this week's KWED 5 Days of Giving Cash for Carnegie Campaign.
The online account is being made available for those unable to stop by KWED or other local locations to drop off donations. The campaign has a goal of $20,000 -- funds still needed for the band trip to New York City. At the end of Day 2, a total of $$$ was collected. Band Member Jacob Allen says he encourages everyone to come out and support by giving those final dollars needed to secure their trip.
"This trip it means a lot to me. I gave up a lot for this. I cut my hours a little bit at work and basically put as much time and effort as I have into band out of any of my years. This is very important, because it's once in a lifetime opportunity, going to New York, but basically will be one of my most important points in my life," said Allen.
Like Allen, Juwuan Smith is also giving his all to not only take care of his portion of the trip but to support all fundraising efforts.
"I took work to another level for me, because I'm going to be completely honest, I'm pretty lazy. So I started hustling. I started baking cakes, selling them to the students at school. I started taking odd jobs for people around the community. We're all really grateful for everyone who supported us and helped us try to reach our goal. Over all this took a lot for me, because it means a lot to me, because how many times do you get to say you performed at Carnegie Hall or how many times do you get to say you went to New York and stayed for an extended amount of time or even just got to spend time with your band family in another state," said Smith.
To participate during their Spring Break, each band student had to pay $1,750. Much of the costs this week are needed to take care of those additional costs over and above the band booster's budget. They include meals, band instrument and equipment travel plus luggage fees. Band organizers say the band only had a few months to prepare for the invitation to perform at the prestigious concert hall.
The fees needed this week are primarily to cover the additional expenses that would have instead gone to each of the individual families.
Allen says the donations given this week are not only about this particular trip. He says it's about the endless opportunities that are in store for the program.
"Donating to this cause, it's not only for the present band and how it's going to be, it's for the future and what this comes to hold. It definitely -- with our new band director (Stan Mauldin) -- he's going to take us a long way. So if you support the band right now, it's going to support us the whole way. The band director is going to take us a lot of places, just more than New York," said Allen.
Smith says this trip, no doubt, will be life changing for each student.
"Looking outside of just the band, you can change an individual's life just by sending them to somewhere that they've never been before. Like I know kids who are working really hard to get it done, because this is something -- this might be the best thing that has ever happened to them. I know for me, it's pretty spectacular, but I like the idea of people donating and giving someone a chance that they didn't have before," said Smith.
In the band's push for these urgent funds, Allen says he thanks the community in advance.
"Without the support of the community, we probably wouldn't get to where we are right now. Yea, we could do a lot of work, but we need that ground support from everybody else in the town. We can't go places without your help," said Allen.
Smith says getting to New York next month is truly a community effort.
"We all thank everyone in the community who has given or wants to give and thank you for the support throughout this entire season, because it's been a long journey and we're just happy to have the support of the community behind us," said Smith.
All money collected from the KWED Five Days of Giving Cash for Carnegie Campaign and Crowdrise.com will go directly into the Seguin Band Booster account. Donate by going onto to www.crowdrise.com/transportation-for-carnegie-hall
or stop by one of the participating drop off locations. They include KWED, Gift & Gourmet, First Commercial Bank, First National Bank of Beeville and First United Bank. Donation jars can be found inside of each of these locations. The Five Days of Giving campaign continues today and runs through Friday. KWED each day will announce the daily collection for the campaign. Sponsorship checks can also be made by contacting Tammy Bargfrede, band booster trip coordinator at 830-560-0032.