"Loud and Proud," a new fundraising effort for the Trimble High School Band, has helped provide new instruments and hats for the 2015 season. (Photo courtesy of Martin Lowery)
“Loud and Proud,” a new fundraising effort for the Trimble High School Band, has helped provide new instruments and hats for the 2015 season. (Photo courtesy of Martin Lowery)

Band Aid: Fundraising Effort Provides Instruments, Scholarship for Trimble Local

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The Trimble High School Marching Band might be small, but thanks to an effort initiated by two alumni just over a year ago, it’s starting to rally.

Jan Hodson and her sister, Jean Cunningham, grew up in Glouster during the 1960s. Both played in the marching and concert bands, and remember those days fondly.

However, Trimble’s band has struggled in recent years, according to Hodson.

“We had heard that the Trimble Local School board was having difficulty hiring a band director. I think they had lost a director, hired someone else and lost that person just two weeks before football season, so they had a temporary director at the time. The band only had 14 members in it. One of the problems was that the school owned few instruments and many of the children in the district could not afford to rent or buy an instrument,” she explained.

While Trimble Local’s football team has been consistently strong through the years, the marching band has had trouble measuring up. But Hodson’s and Cunningham’s “Loud and Proud” effort aims to change that.

“The band is starting to gain visibility in the Trimble Local community,” Hodson said. “The football team has held championship seasons the last two years and the band is gaining attention by attending every game and supporting the team along the way. We strongly believe that every child deserves the opportunity to learn to play an instrument,” Hodson said. “That opportunity should not be extinguished because the child doesn’t have access to an instrument.”

Since its establishment in May 2014, Loud and Proud has had 30 donors provide 27 used instruments and $8,700. One of the monetary donations was intended specifically for new hats, as the marching band has been performing in outdated uniforms for years.

New uniforms would cost roughly $300 to $400 apiece, according to Hodson, and Loud and Proud will focus on raising money for that. Another donation was used to purchase a new baritone horn, which tend to be very expensive.

Although the band has had its ups and downs, the students have not let past struggles dampen their spirits. In fact, one of those students, Adrianna Alfman, is about to take her love of music to the next level.

Alfman, who graduated earlier this year, is the recipient of a new scholarship awarded to a Trimble band member who shows exceptional dedication.

The Strip family of Dublin, Ohio, established the $1,000 scholarship in honor of their late daughter and sister, Lori Strip, who the family lost at age 18 in 1989.

Although Lori played the saxophone in her own high school marching band, the family chose to provide the scholarship to Trimble High School, based on good memories of visiting the area.

“We have been spending time there since I was 12,” said Wendy Strip, Lori’s sister, who is now 53 and living in Michigan. The family has vacationed at Burr Oak Lodge for more than 40 years.

“It’s a place that we all love. The scholarship was a way to both honor my sister’s memory, serve as a reminder of good times and to bring some help to somebody who’s very deserving of it,” she added.

Strip, who personally presented the scholarship in May, said she was “thrilled” to meet Alfman, who shared qualities with Lori, such as appreciation for music and caring about children. Alfman plans to study music education at Hocking College starting this fall.

“It was really wonderful to see how many kids were doing so many great things and really wonderful to be contributing to somebody’s life,” Strip said of the scholarship awards ceremony. “With this scholarship, we’re only able to help one person in a small way, but it’s really important to remember that there are a lot of people around who support each and every one of them.”

Hodson and Strip said that although support for Trimble High School’s football team is always encouraged, not all students are interested in athletics, and they hope that their efforts will lead to a different victory for the school.