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LH Power Band sets fundraiser for London trip

by John Anderson The Sentinel-Record | January 16, 2020 at 3:00 a.m.

The Power Band of Arkansas will host a performance by pastor turned comedian Dennis Swanberg, dubbed "America's Minister of Encouragement," on Feb. 8 as a fundraiser for its upcoming trip to London.

The event, sponsored by the Hays Agency with Farmers Insurance, will be held at 7 p.m. in Lake Hamilton's Wolf Arena. Tickets are $15 to $20.

London New Year's Day Parade officials extended an official invitation to the Power Band of Arkansas in September 2019 to perform in the parade in 2021.

Bethany Brasfield, a fundraiser committee member, said the London trip committee and the Power Band Organization booked Swanberg because one of its members was familiar with his family friendly act and has seen him perform many times.

According to his website, Swanberg "takes Barney Fife and over 20 other lovable impersonations, together with his sidesplitting stories of growing up, families and the funny side of church to over 250,000 people every year." He was host of "The Dennis Swanberg Show" and "Swan's Place," formerly nationally televised cable television shows viewed by over 1 million households.

All proceeds raised through ticket sales and concessions will go directly to the trip, Brasfield said.

A total of 225 students in grades 8-12 are in the band, which will be accompanied by 25 chaperones. With a total of 250 people making the trip at a cost of $3,550 per person, the total cost will be $887,500. With nearly $100,000 raised, the total fundraising goal is $737,500 according to the website.

"The Power Band Organization is a nonprofit organization, and all donations made to the Power Band for the London Trip are tax-deductible," the organization said in an email.

The PBO appointed seven parents to the committee, including Jason Brasfield, Todd Sadowski, Ceci McFee, Dustin Heard, Teresa Horner, Austin Hall and Ashley Harris, whose primary focus is the trip.

Other fundraiser events the band has held include "Fuel the Band," which feeds the band every week during rehearsals and competitions. In November, they hosted a chili dinner, which allowed the community to celebrate the band before they competed in the Grand Nationals. They also hold their annual car wash at multiple locations across Hot Springs.

"We as the parents are trying to get this cost down for the kids so they would be able to go," Brasfield said.

"This is something that you can only be invited to. You can't apply, or ask them. There is no one you can call. They just found us and reached out and after much discussion, we think that this will be a great experience for the kids," she said.

"We are excited for this opportunity. This trip will be a great experience for our students, staff, and parents. We are proud to serve as ambassadors for our school, community, state and nation," band director Jon Shultz said.

Flights, hotel for seven nights and miscellaneous expenses will be $1,000 each, and the taxes will be $550.

Not only will the band be performing in the parade, but the wind ensembles will be performing a concert in the heart of Chelsea, London, at the historic Cadogan Hall.

The band will be in London from Dec. 27-Jan. 3.

Local on 01/16/2020

Print Headline: LH Power Band sets fundraiser for London trip


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