Locals can help ‘Aberdeen Music Last a Lifetime,’ on Saturday

The goal to enrich the music education of Aberdeen School District students could soon be signed, sealed and delivered with the help of caring folks who attend a fundraiser this weekend.

The 33rd annual fundraising dinner and scholarship auction, set up by the Aberdeen Bobcat Music Boosters (ABMB), is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28, from 5 to 8 p.m., according to boosters’ board President Jeanne Ward. The event will take place inside the Aberdeen High School (AHS) Commons. The fundraiser will provide attendees live and silent auctions, and jazz band and choir performances from AHS and Miller Junior High School students.

The fundraiser, set up by the nonprofit ABMB, is aimed to “uplift music education in the Aberdeen School District (ASD-5) through material and logistical support and advocacy,” according to the nonprofit. The revenue from the fundraiser will go directly to music scholarships for graduating AHS students.

“This is our single most important fundraiser for this school year,” Ward said. “It’s important to the graduating Aberdeen High School music students who are college-bound, who will be applying for scholarships through our program.”

The flyer for the fundraiser even includes the phrase “Aberdeen Music Lasts a Lifetime.” That could prove true for the students who get the scholarship money.

Ward said last year, there were six students who received scholarships. She said those scholarships totaled $9,000.

“All of the students who applied for scholarships received them,” Ward said.

In 2020, ABMB raised $10,000 for the graduating students. There was no fundraiser in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019 about $10,000 was raised.

While the money raised during the fundraiser Saturday night is to go directly to the college-bound music students seeking scholarships, Ward assured that ABMB, in general, serves all music students at all grade levels through the district.

Ward is helping continue the work of former boosters President Christina Seguin. Seguin is the office coordinator at AHS. She served as board president for six years. While she no longer holds the title, she anticipates another fun night this year. In past years, she had “a great time.”

While admission to the fundraiser is free, people are encouraged to donate. Attendees can feast on pizza, desserts, and beverages, which will be sold individually.

Ward said the pizza will come from Westside Pizza. The local joint is “helping to sponsor the event by giving a discount,” according to Ward. People can buy a large cheese or pepperoni pizza for $15. To ensure freshness to people who buy a pizza later on during the night, Ward said the restaurant will bring more pizza about halfway through the event.

Local and regional businesses, and families, have donated items for the auctions. People who attend will also be able to participate in “specialty raffles,” and a cash 50-50 raffle.

“We have so many auction items,” Ward said. “We have a person who is just amazing at getting items from out of town, like (The) Fifth Avenue Theatre tickets, a stay at the Lucky Eagle Resort, Wild Waves, Oregon Science Center. It’s really an incredible group of music and art donations.”

Among the prizes will be two sets of four graduation seats in “priority seating” at Stewart Field. Another auction item will be a jazz band performance. Desserts will also be donated.

“Miss Grays Harbor actually is making a lemon cake, her very own self, for the auction,” said Ward about Emma Dorsch, the former AHS Goldenaire alumna. “And there’s an Amaretto bread pudding that is historically well-liked by the community. It’s new to me to learn about it, but people said ‘Oh you’ve got to reach out to the person who makes the bread pudding.’ They reached out to me and that’s (Beth) Barene.”

Bread pudding enthusiasts ought to know there will be two 8-by-8-inch pans of the locally famous dish.

While the boosters’ aim is to help the students, they can’t do it alone. It’s why people such as Ward are working so hard to make the event on Saturday night a fun night.

“Our success depends greatly on getting the word out to the community about this family-friendly, fun event,” the nonprofit states.

People still have the option to donate and they can contact Ward by phone to set up a donation. The donations can be made by phone at 360-209-4546, or directly to the scholarship program by PayPal, or by cash or check at the auction as well. Donations can be made on the website — www.aberdeenbobcatmusicboosters.org, and they can also send a donation by mail.

Ward can’t wait for Saturday.

“I feel excited that we can come together as a community to uplift music education in the Aberdeen School District and let the students know that we are here for them and we support them, and also the music directors,” Ward said.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com for future story ideas.