By: Susan Erler | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2010
For most groups, an invitation to perform on the international stage is something that they dream of, but it never actually becomes a reality. For others, the invitation comes and it is a once-in-a-lifetime event for that organization. But, for one local band, the opportunity to perform in front of an international audience has come six times! Once, when the band traveled to Dublin, Ireland to perform in an international marching competition and now, for the fifth time, they have been the recipient of the coveted invitation to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade, held each January in Pasadena, California.
Owasso is extremely proud to be the hometown of this band, the Pride of Owasso, an organization that holds so many honors and awards, it would take five articles just to list them. Let’s just say, they are extremely good at what they do. And what they do best is perform and entertain audiences with their exceptionally precise movements and a sound that is so close to perfection, you find yourself in constant disbelief when you realize these are high school kids ages 15 to 18. There are only three other bands in the world that have been invited back to the Tournament of Roses Parade this many times.
However, the logistics and cost of a trip this enormous can be daunting. The Band Patrons Club members have been diligently working on numerous fundraisers over the past few months in order to help ease the burden of the travel costs for each student. The total cost to send the kids on this trip is $285,000. They have held chili cook-offs, staffed the concession stands at all the home football games, and are selling Tournament of Roses Parade merchandise, all in an effort to get their favorite band the chance to been seen all over the world. And, the month of November is no exception. Filled with several fundraising opportunities, there is certainly something for everyone who wants to help support this worthy cause.
One of the most exciting fundraisers will be held at the Owasso High School gymnasium on Saturday, November 13. The Pride of Owasso and the entire Owasso community are proud to welcome players from the world renowned Harlem Globetrotters All Time Roster. The Harlem Globetrotters will be playing two exhibition games against local Owasso celebrities (school officials, church ministers, and city officials) with the first game beginning at 1 p.m., followed by an evening game to be played at 7 p.m. Doors will open for pre-game events at noon and at 6 p.m. There will be a pre-game foul shot contest for kids 12 and under, door prizes, giveaways, concessions and much more. Seating is limited for each game to 1,500 people. General admission price is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. VIP passes will be available for $45 in advance and $50 game day, and include a T-shirt, seat backs, special parking, goodie bag, autograph session with the Globetrotters and prime seating. For ticket information, contact Niki Miller at (918) 906-3394.
The band is also sponsoring a “Zumbathon” event to be held Saturday, November 20. The cost to participate is $10 per person, with all the proceeds benefitting the Pride’s trip to California. Zumba is a dance program that fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program. It gives participants an exciting hour of calorie burning, body energizing, and awe inspiring movements designed to provide an experience you will look forward to and enjoy. It is an aerobic routine based on the steps of four core dances: salsa, reggaeton, merengue and cumbia, with some mambo, rumba, flamenco and calypso steps thrown in for added movement. This all adds up to two hours of fun and one fantastic fundraiser.
The band will also be selling poinsettias during the holiday season, and more fundraisers will certainly be added as the days get closer to the parade. Be sure to check the band website, www.prideofowasso.com, for a daily update on future fundraising activities.
A total of 307 students will load chartered busses the day after Christmas for the hectic trip to Pasadena for their fifth appearance in the parade. Make no mistake about it though – while they are there making us proud, they all will remember that it is through the generosity of local Owasso residents that have made this adventure possible. The parade will be broadcast on ABC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, NBC, the Travel Channel and Univision, and it will be seen in more than 200 international territories and countries. Don’t miss this historic event! Mark your calendars and set your DVR for Saturday, January 1 at 10 a.m., when the Pride of Owasso will most certainly live up to their name and make us all very proud!