HOLIDAY spirits are sure to rise when the Trail Band arrives Thursday night at the HRMS auditorium. This annual lively music celebration of the season supports the Hood River County Education Foundation and its mission to support teachers and students. Funds raised will provide grants to innovative teachers throughout the valley. Tickets are available at the door for the 7 p.m. concert, which includes a silent auction and raffle prizes.
The annual season of music, light and celebration is upon us. One great Hood River tradition will be returning Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. with the Hood River County Education Foundation fundraiser concert featuring the Trail Band.
This year’s Trail Band production will showcase a wide variety of traditional and original holiday music including classical, Celtic, swing and country styles, enjoyable for every age listener. Band members play 25 different instruments during the show and everyone in the band sings.
Trail Band concerts also showcase unique instrumental and vocal harmonies, humorous stories and special guests.
But beyond the entertainment offered during the evening, the HRCEF presents the concert as the primary fundraiser for its annual teacher grants program.
“We’re going to use the money from the concert for our teacher grant program,” said Paul Lindberg, executive director of HRCEF. “With this money we will be able to fund two rounds of teacher grants. We’ve only been able to fund one round before.”
According to Lindberg, the HRCEF’s Innovative Teaching Program makes awards to teachers and staff who find better ways to teach, new subjects to explore and interesting experiments to try.
The goal of the program to provide the critical funds that will turn the best of these ideas into action. The program is open to any Hood River teacher, staff, district employee or student.
The evening will include an opportunity for silent auction purchases — including Mt. Hood Meadows ski passes and Teacup Nordic Center passes — to a variety of raffled holiday baskets.
“We have a great basket of specialty items from Ovino,” said Lindberg, who noted that raffle tickets will be for sale at $5 each.
In years past, the Trail Band concert has brought in large audiences. When asked about this year’s sales, Lindberg said, “Ticket sales are strong but there are still more seats available.”
This year the amount of funding available for the grant program, in addition to the Trail Band concert revenue, will be increased as a result of two successful grant awards received by HRCEF.
“We received $5,000 from Trust Management Services, a small family foundation and U.S. bank Foundation gave us $4,000,” said Lindberg. An anonymous donor has also pledged $15,000 toward the grant program. The hoped-for net from the concert is $5,000, ensuring approximately $34,000 for teaching innovations.
Those applying for the grants will be able to submit requests by Jan. 18, with the second round slated for sometime in May. The maximum request for funding is $800, and, according to Lindberg, most successful applicants receive close to that amount.
“We fund anything from books or technology in the classroom to new curriculum ... basically, we want to fund any interesting or new idea to positively impact students in the school district,” he said.
The Trail Band has recorded five holiday CDs and has played more than 300 holiday performances since 1994. The band travels to many communities across Oregon in partnership with charitable organizations.
Tickets are $17 for adults and $6 for youth ages 14 and under. Pre-purchase is available at Waucoma Bookstore, Klindt’s Booksellers, online at www.hrcommunityed.org, Cascade Locks School, Cascade Central Credit Union, Postal Connections in White Salmon and at the Hood River Community Education Office. Tickets will also be available at the door.