Representatives of the Pickerington High School Central and Pickerington High School North marching bands have organized a dinner Sunday, Sept. 2, that will help students offset costs of a trip to Pasadena, California, to march New Year's Day in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The fundraiser will include an appearance by Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny and his wife, Trina, who will be visiting Pickerington to observe the bands and take part in events such as the community's Labor Day celebration and "The Road to Pasadena Dinner and Silent Auction."

The Tournament of Roses Parade is a tradition stretching into its 130th year. The parade attracts approximately 45.5 million television viewers each year in the U.S., and 28 million more from throughout the world.

For the parade, members of both the bands will perform as one Pickerington band.

The band members have been preparing for almost a year for the trip.

An integral part of that preparation is fundraising.

The dinner and auction will be held at The Loft at Combustion Brewery & Taproom, 80 W. Church St., Ste. 101 in Pickerington.

Tickets are $60 per person, $110 for a couple or $500 for a table, which includes 10 tickets.

They can be purchased at pickeringtonroseparade.com/road-to-pasadena-dinner.html.

Proceeds from the dinner will help roughly 350 band students offset their costs to make the trip for the district's historic, joint performance.

According to Kim Stowe, wife of PHS Central band director Nate Stowe and a member of the local Rose Parade Fundraising Committee, those expenses are about $1,700 per student.

"It's going to be a wonderful evening to support the students and raise money for the upcoming trip in December," Stowe said.

"Whatever money we do raise will be evenly distributed across all of the students' costs for the trip."

Tickets to the event will include two drink tickets, appetizers and a dinner buffet provided by the Meatery BBQ, a Pickerington-based catering business run by Jason Smith.

"With Mr. Freeny coming out to visit Labor Day weekend, we thought it would be really cool for him to come and see what Pickerington is all about," Stowe said.

Freeny is expected to address the dinner crowd.

Additionally, the event will feature a silent auction that will include a year's worth of free car washes from Moo Moo Express Car Wash, two Pickerington Local School District athletic season passes and Central and North "spirit wear" baskets.

Additionally, there will be a "Friends of the Band Field Pass" from the Ohio State University Marching Band. The winner of that item will receive "a complete OSU marching band experience," Nate Stowe said.

That package includes passes to the OSU band's "skull session" rally before the Nov. 3 football game against Nebraska, entry to the game and a pass to be on the sidelines with the band.

"They are pregame, halftime and post-game sideline credentials and seats behind the band," Nate Stowe said.

Additional questions about The Road to Pasadena Dinner and Silent Auction can be directed to: TheRoadtoPasadena@ gmail.com.

"It's a fundraiser to help reduce the costs for all the students and potentially provide additional opportunities while they're in California," Nate Stowe said. "It will be great to have the Tiger and Panther families, and all of the community, come out and support the bands."

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@ThisWeekNate