Deployed 82nd CAB soldier tries to help daughter's band win grant

Posted November 10, 2011
Updated December 1, 2011

— Christopher Walker might be deployed to Afghanistan with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, but he isn’t letting that stop him from trying to help his daughter’s high school band get new instruments.

Earlier this year, Walker, a Blackhawk maintenance test pilot, submitted an idea to the Pepsi Refresh project in hopes of getting the Union Pines High School marching band new instruments.

It was the second time Walker submitted the idea for a $25,000 grant to replace the instruments, which are more than 15 years old. Last year, the idea failed to win enough online votes.

Before he could find out if this year’s idea made the cut and appear online for voting, Walker was deployed.

On Nov. 1, Walker received an email that his idea was selected and voting would be held this month.

After failing to get enough votes last year, Walker said he knew it would take more votes than just students and parents at Union Pines. So, he focused on reaching out to the community with the goal of getting the idea in the top 15 for the entire month.

Votes are accepted online, through Facebook and through text message, until midnight Nov. 30.

This week, the idea climbed into the top 15.

During Walker’s spare time, he stays active on the Union Pines Band Booster Facebook page and maintains the booster’s website.

“It’s difficult keeping up with all the necessary daily communications required to keep our supporters motivated to vote each day of the month, but I have a lot of band booster parents and friends who believe that we can do it as much as I do. Without their help, I honestly don’t think we would have a chance,” Walker said via email.

The top 15 vote-getters at the end of the month will be finalists for the $25,000 grant.


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  • n2justice Nov 14, 2011

    I just cast my vote. Good luck!

  • just my2cents Nov 14, 2011

    2 things close to my heart here, a hero serving his country, and a high school marching band. I am going to vote now! (and thank you (insert rank here) Walker for your service to our country and your family!)

  • balddude43 Nov 11, 2011

    Links to VOTE and follow our progress are above in the story and in the "RELATED" box. If you go to our Union Pines Band Booster Facebook page please give us a "LIKE" and you can find out about more NC Projects in the grant programs. Thank you!

  • juliekirk Nov 11, 2011

    Three ways to vote... at
    One sign in using your facebook acct. 2. Sign in with your email and vote.. and 3 text if you look at the purple banner you will see Vote for this idea....:))

  • robhill Nov 11, 2011

    A very noble story and a very noble cause. Thank you Chris Walker and Ken Smith. Please help us by voting on a daily basis. The Union Pines Band students work so very hard and give so much of their time and talent to the community. They truly deserve a reward for their efforts. Thank you. Rob Hill, Band Director, Union Pines Bands

  • IMissYouOscar Nov 11, 2011

    Where do we go to click? would be nice to post the website! I'll vote every day!

  • country road Nov 11, 2011

    This only takes 2 minutes but can help many.

  • juliekirk Nov 11, 2011

    AWESOME super proud to hear this was done for the band at UP they are worth the time to get online and push a button for this vote.... They are award winning band that was featured at the July 4th parade in Washington DC and can without a doubt use this grant to replace those instruments....