Band program at St. Helens High awaits word on missing trailer
The high school band is a vital component of a prep football season. The music sets the mood for the crowd, as they watch two teams battle it out on the field.
But at St. Helens High School, the band program has been dealt a blow after a small, black trailer containing equipment and supplies went missing July 13 from the school parking lot.
So far, there's no word on the trailer's whereabouts.
As reported by KOIN 6 News, a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group, the trailer was full of supplies, such as changing tents and kitchen supplies used by the marching band and color guard programs.
Noelle Freshner, band director at the school, is disappointed.
"It was a shock," she said. "For as long as I've been here, our trailers have been parked where they're parked. It was just very surprising to see that happen. We were really bummed out about it."
Freshner explained, "We typically don't keep things in those trailers. We usually keep them empty. It was because of the renovation that's happening at the high school that we had items in it to begin with. We had just moved all of our Band Patrons items out of the high school and into a temporary storage unit we're using during the renovation.
"Because of that we decided, hey let's take a little time and not move everything into the storage unit. Let's put everything that we know we're going to need for marching band camp in this trailer."
Ryan Scholl, who is chair for St. Helens Band Patrons, a nonprofit that supplies the band, said the estimated cost of replacing the trailer and its contents is $10,000.
"We kicked off a GoFundMe account," said Scholl, who also sits on the St. Helens School District's board of directors. "Currently, it's up to $3,540. It's amazing to see the community coming out like that."
The band program also scheduled a bottle and can drive, and a money donation drive-thru, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 7 in the high school parking lot.
Scholl was pleased with the community support from St. Helens and surrounding communities.
"It's amazing," he said with emotion. "I have never been more impressed than I am now."
Freshner was also pleased with the community support.
"We were overwhelmed by the support and everybody's empathy in the situation," Freshner said. "Even today, I got two different text messages from local band directors in the state asking about updates on the trailer."
Scholl discussed the importance of a band program to the school.
"If you go to a football game, you've got the band playing," he said. "It gets the crowd going, it gets the teams going. There are a couple different songs they do where the whole bleachers are just shaking. It's amazing to watch."
A police department report has been filed on the disappearing trailer, but as of now, there are no leads.
Scholl added, "We need to do what's right and make it right for these kids."
The GoFundMe site is at gofundme.com/f/st-helens-band-patrons-fundraiser.
Editor's note: Danny Peterson of KOIN 6 News, a news partner of Pamplin Media Group, contributed to this report.
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