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AMERICAN FORK, Utah (AP) -- The American Fork High School marching band has received a big donation as it tries to raise money for a trip to march in the presidential inauguration next month.
The Doug Smith Autoplex will donate a new car to help pay for the American Fork High School marching band's trip to perform in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20.
The band needs $157,000 to fly students, instruments, teachers and volunteers to the event.
The band received word late last week that it had been selected as one of 10 bands to perform from a field of 300. Band director John Miller and booster club president Stan Clegg have been working since the announcement to find donors.
"So far, the only thing that is firm is Doug Smith Auto's offer, and I know there's some others coming in, I just don't know the details behind them," Clegg said. "There are a lot of people that have gone to companies and seem pretty sure we're going to be getting something, we just don't know what it is yet."
The auto dealer's co-owner is Brad Smith, who coaches football at the high school. He said he supports the band because he's been impressed by how hard band members work.
"I've seen them practice on a daily basis for about three years, and those guys work every bit as hard as that football team does," Smith said. "So it's just always impressed me, and we've tried to be a supporter of the community here in American Fork."
As much as $20,000 could be raised by selling the car in a raffle, and that's more than the $12,000 to $18,000 retail price for the Suzuki Forenza.
Even if that much money is raised, the band would still need to raise more than $130,000 to make the trip. Smith said he hopes other businesses will donate.
Clegg said the band's search for donors will intensify this week.
"We really just started the fund-raising effort," he said. "I know that it's going to be a huge effort going forth over this next week to approach a lot of businesses and individuals about it."
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)