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D.C.-bound marching band puts Hoke County on parade

Posted March 9, 2011

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— A marching band from Hoke County is counting down to the end of May, when they'll head to Washington, D.C. to perform in the nationally televised Memorial Day parade, the largest observance of the holiday nationwide.

About 90 students from Hoke County High School in Raeford will make the trip, and for many of them, marching in the national spotlight will be the highlight of their high school career.

"It's like the winning the state championship," said senior Ronald Seay. "That's how I feel. We can go far."

The Mighty Marching Bucks have won accolades, awards and trophies locally and statewide, said band director Charles Conner, and now they'll be recognized nationally.

"I always tell my kids to put their best foot forward, because they never know who's watching," Conner said. 

Seay said he knows one very important person who'll be watching on Memorial Day.

"Getting the president's attention," he said. "I just want him to know it – Hoke County."

Hoke marching band heading to D.C. for Memorial Day Hoke marching band heading to D.C. for Memorial Day

For twins Megan and Holly Stauffer, performing in the National Memorial Day Parade is a high honor because its message hits close to home.

"A lot of the people in the school are military kids. They come from all over, literally," Megan said.

"I want them to be happy about it," added Holly. "We do it for them and for the community."

The band still needs to drum up some donations, Conner said. The trip is expected to cost more than $70,000.

Donations can be sent to: Hoke County High School, Band Wagon, 505 S. Bethel Rd., Raeford, NC 28376.

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