Per­form­ing for the Pros

March­ing Lions rais­ing money for NFL trip

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com Fol­low Caro­line/ Dorch­ester Edi­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @Dustin_ StarDem.

CAM­BRIDGE — The Maple El­e­men­tary School March­ing Lions con­tinue to go big places with an NFL ap­pear­ance on the sched­ule for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year.

The band is sched­uled to per­form dur­ing the Green Bay Pack­ers at New York Jets game on Sun­day, Dec. 23. The NFL per­for­mance fol­lows the band’s 2017 show dur­ing a Bal­ti­more Ravens game.

To make the trip, the Maple Band Boost­ers will be host­ing two fundrais­ers over the next two weeks to pay for the travel ex­penses.

The first fundraiser will be a yard sale from 7 to 11 a.m. Satur­day, Nov. 10, in the Maple El­e­men­tary park­ing lot, 5225 Egypt Road in Cam­bridge. The sec­ond fundraiser will be bingo at 1 p.m. Sun­day, Nov. 18, at the Cam­bridge Elks Lodge 1272, 5464 Elks Lodge Road in Cam­bridge.

“I want to take the kids to some­thing big each year,” said Maple Band Di­rec­tor Ray Wash­ing­ton. “They are very tal­ented, and work ex­tremely hard that I want them to be on a big stage so they can show­case to ev­ery­one how great they are.

“The com­mu­nity has been big sup­port­ers of us, and we need the com­mu­nity’s help for our trip,” he said. “These two fundrais­ers will be big in help­ing us cov­er­ing the cost to make the trip to New York City. We in­vite ev­ery­one out to sup­port the trip for the kids.”

The yard sale is free ad­mis­sion. Ven­dors can have a ta­ble for $15 and two ta­bles for $25. Ta­bles can be re­served by call­ing Deb­bie Todd at 701-340-2550 or by email­ing maple­band­boost­ers@ya­hoo.com.

Doors open at 1 p.m. for the Sun­day, Nov. 18, bingo with games be­gin­ning at 2 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is $30 with only 200 seats avail­able.

Ad­mis­sion in­cludes nine cards and 15 games of cash Bingo. Ad­di­tional cards, pull-tabs, spe­cial Bingo games and a jack­pot game also will be avail­able for pur­chase. Pay­outs will be $100 on reg­u­lar games and spe­cial games 50/50 and $500 for the jack­pot.

Food, bev­er­ages and back goods will be avail­able for pur­chase. For bingo tick­ets call Ash­ley Robin­son at 443-5214646 or Traci at 410-330-3724.

Busi­nesses and com­mu­nity mem­bers also can make do­na­tions via checks made out to “Maple Band Boost­ers.” For more in­for­ma­tion about mak­ing a do­na­tion call Robin­son at 443-521-4646.

“It gets the kids pumped up per­form­ing to such a large crowd at an NFL game,” Wash­ing­ton said. “It is a re­ward for their hard work. They did such a great job last year at the Ravens game that we wanted to take them some­where big again.”

The March­ing Lions per­formed ear­lier this fall at the Mor­gan State Univer­sity home­com­ing fes­tiv­i­ties. They achieved great heights in 2017 when they per­formed on ABC’s “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica,” along with in many lo­cal pa­rades.

Wash­ing­ton has loved mu­sic since child­hood, and said band was his fa­vorite part of school since he was a fourth-grade stu­dent at Maple El­e­men­tary. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Mor­gan State, where he earned his bach­e­lor’s de­gree in mu­sic, he en­joyed a 10-year ca­reer as a DJ be­fore mov­ing back to Cam­bridge and tak­ing a sub­sti­tute po­si­tion at Maple Ele­men­tar y.

His con­nec­tion with the stu­dents grew, and when the mu­sic teacher po­si­tion be­came avail­able in his sec­ond year, he de­cided to move for­ward with a full­time ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion. He was awarded with the first Gloria Richard­son Award in Fe­bru­ary, and was hon­ored by Gov. Larry Ho­gan in July.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Maple El­e­men­tary March­ing Lions drum­mers Malachi Young, left, Kam­bren Wongus and Ja’Naya Stan­ley per­form at the Dorch­ester County Pub­lic Schools wel­come back event for teach­ers Thurs­day, Aug. 23, at Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School.

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