The 180-member band hopes to participate in the 2006 South African National Championships. The students will be participating in the Field Band Foundation's cultural exchange program that serves more than 3,000 youths in 244 schools in 129 South African townships. They are the first school from the United States to be invited to the championship.
They have until Aug. 1 to raise the money.
As of April 10, band members had raised $5,000 with group car washes and an April 1 pep rally. Individual fund raising activities have brought in an additional $10,000.
Band director Travis Kimber says students are very excited and have embraced a range of fund-raising ideas to help them come up with the $2,585 that each student needs to make the trip.
Students are canvassing businesses for help and the Bruster's Ice Cream store outside the Mall at Stonecrest is donating a portion of its sales from a number of planned fundraisers starting April 14.
The Subway restaurant at 3054 Panola Road in Lithonia and the Walgreen's at 2945 Panola Road in Lithonia will also offer a portion of their proceeds to the band trip.
The students have also had fundraisers at Atlanta Steakhouse and a pep rally in the parking lot at Toys R Us.
Donations can also be made to the MLK Band Boosters Inc., P.O. Box 361396, Decatur, GA 30036, or to the MLK South Africa Fund at any Wachovia Bank nationwide.
For more information, visit www.mlkmarchinglions.com.