Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
2:45 am EDT
Friday, September 18, 2020

Grant for new instruments is music to band members’ ears

Lake Minneola High School Marching Band. // Photo (2017) provided by school

A beverage maker is quenching a band’s thirst for new equipment with a sizable grant.

Niagara Cares, the charitable division of Niagara Bottling, is awarding a grant of $66,863 to Lake Minneola High School to fund the purchase of new instruments and sound equipment for its award-winning band program, a news release states.

Niagara Bottling employees are scheduled to present the check to band director Andy Deen at 12:45pm Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the high school, 101 N. Hancock Road in Minneola. In return, students from the band program will perform a concert for the Niagara employees and band parents.

The band program of 110 students travels throughout the state of Florida and competes in the Florida Marching Band Championships. For the past two years, the ensemble has reached the state finals despite having to use failing or borrowed equipment. Nearly 30 percent of students from Lake Minneola High come from low-income households, the release states.

For its accomplishments, the Marching Green and Gold was invited to perform at the Peach Bowl in December in Atlanta. The band will join other marching bands from across the country to perform during the college football game’s pregame show and the national anthem at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, along with the bowl parade through downtown Atlanta, a news release states.

Headquartered in Ontario, California, Niagara operates bottling facilities throughout the United States and Mexico. Niagara produces a variety of beverages, including bottled water, sparkling water, tea, sports drinks, and vitamin-enhanced waters.

Niagara Cares, the philanthropic arm, supports local and national community initiatives serving children and families in need by engaging stakeholders and investing its resources.