Cummings marching band nears fundraising goal to perform at Sugar Bowl

The Cummings High School marching band has raised a little over half of the amount needed to travel to New Orleans to perform at the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Eve – but more is needed and the clock is winding down.

The marching band has raised $66,501.02 since fundraising efforts began in August in order to send 52 students – 39 from Cummings High School, as well as 13 from Broadview Middle School – to perform at the Sugar Bowl, according to figures that the band’s booster club provided for The Alamance News Wednesday.

The total amount needed is $109,350, which includes uniforms, transportation, meals, and lodging, ABSS public information officer Les Atkins said in a brief phone interview Wednesday.

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“Lodging is a big part of that because [the students] have to stay in a certain hotel near the stadium and because they have to practice for a couple of days before,” Atkins elaborated.
Meanwhile, a group of Cummings High School alumni has launched a separate fundraising campaign, via the Go Fund Me website, to raise money to send the marching band to the Sugar Bowl. That campaign had raised about $5,500 by Wednesday morning.

Cummings band boosters sold meals during Burlington Christmas Parade on Nov. 19 as part of the effort to raise money for the band’s Sugar Bowl trip.

“Fundraising efforts are ongoing,” Atkins told the newspaper. “It seems like something is going on every day; businesses have donated.”

“We appreciate the efforts of the alumni organization and what they’re doing,” the PIO said, adding that several other graduates are planning to present a donation, in the form of an oversized check, at the school system’s central office on Friday.

ABSS has also posted on a link on its website where people can donate to the effort, at:

The students are slated to perform during the halftime show at the Sugar Bowl under the direction of Gregory Milton, the director of bands at Cummings High School for the past five years.

“For these kids to perform during the Sugar Bowl will be life-changing,” Milton recently told a group that’s helping to raise funds for the effort. “I desperately want this experience for them.”

Milton said his musicians had gained attention while performing at the ACC tournament for the past two years. “In five years, we’ve grown from 12 members to 60,” Milton recalled. “At a lot of schools, the football, basketball, and baseball teams get most of the notoriety and funding, but these kids in the band work hard.

“I’d love to watch them take the field in the Superdome, which would be a fitting way to acknowledge everything they’ve accomplished and something they can tell their grandchildren about 50 years from now,” added Milton. We’re excited to show the nation what Burlington can do.”

The Cummings High School band boosters have set the fundraising deadline for December 10.

Cummings’ marching band also includes students from Broadview Middle School, who also have been invited to perform at the Sugar Bowl, ABSS chief academic officer Revonda Johnson said during an earlier discussion with school board members. Most ABSS schools usually assign one chaperone for every 10 students during out-of-town events, she explained during the earlier discussion.

The 89th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN on December 31, Atkins told the newspaper Wednesday.

See a video of the band marching in the Burlington Christmas Parade on Nov. 19 below: