"Think about what your mom and dad sacrificed to let you do what you needed to do."
After his day job of training MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew members, Wesley Fagan, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee, spends some of his evenings and weekends raising money, building props and hauling equipment so the young musicians of Kenwood High school's marching band can have opportunities to perform at competitions and away games.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Wesley: I volunteer for the Kenwood High School Band program. I assist the band director in building props, moving the bandís equipment to various football games and band competitions throughout the area. A handful of concerned parents have formed a booster club to assist in fundraising for replacement, repair and procurement of band equipment, and we are striving to raise enough money to buy new uniforms, various instruments and some much needed performance items, like flags, drum heads, cymbal stands and more.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Wesley: The Kenwood High School Marching Band, Clarksville, Tennessee.
What inspired you to get involved?
Wesley: I got involved because the local school budget does not have the funds to replace these uniforms, and we could even possibly lose transportation to events and competitions. The Band does get SOME funding from the school board, but it is limited.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Wesley: I get to see these kids TRY! They see an adult, an involved parent who does not get anything from this except being able to see these kids perform at their best.
What is/was the hardest part?
Wesley: Getting the local merchants and businesses involved in supporting the high school in their back yard.
What was the biggest surprise?
Wesley: Watching these kidsí faces light up when we are able to show them that our labor produces money for them to be unhampered to go to competitions and away games.
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience and how have you changed as a result?
Wesley: A renewed respect for the kidsí abilities to accomplish what they want.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Wesley: Remember how it was when you were a kid. Think about what your mom and dad sacrificed to let you do what you needed to do. Don't forget, they are the future.
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