Alaskan band will march in D.C. parade on the cheap

WASILLA -- Supporters say the Colony High School band will march before millions in the presidential inauguration parade in Washington, D.C., even if they have to pull out their own credit cards to get there.

But before the state's only active marching band plays for President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 20, boosters are hoping other sources come through, including one more shot at help from the Mat-Su Borough School District.

The district school board rejected a $15,000 band-funding proposal at a special meeting Dec. 29. The board split 3-3, with supporters praising the lofty, once-in-a-lifetime nature of the trip and detractors challenging the precedent set for future groups asking for pricey travel expenses.

That could have been the end of it, but board president Jim Colver added a motion to renew the band funding discussion at the board's meeting tonight. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Palmer High School upper library.

One board member -- Brian Sullivan, a U.S. Army major -- missed the meeting. Sullivan, vacationing in Honolulu, had planned to vote in favor via cell phone. But he dropped his Motorola in the waves at Waikiki and it shorted out.

Sullivan said Tuesday he plans to support the band. He may suggest the district redirect the $12,000 in health premiums he's allotted as a board member but doesn't use.

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