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The Buckhannon River near Sago
The Buckhannon River near Sago

A noteworthy river ride: B-U Band Boosters invites community to ‘Paddle and Float’ fundraiser

Editor’s note: Since the initial publication date, this event has been canceled due to rising river levels.

BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Band is inviting the community to a Paddle and Float event this Saturday to help raise money for the upcoming school year.

Carrie Stark, president of the B-U Band Boosters, said they arranged the Aug. 21 ‘On the Run’ Paddle and Float to assist the band with costs not covered by Upshur County Schools.

“We were trying to think of a really fun and unique fundraising idea for the band, so we came up with this paddle idea and it’s based on an ATV poker run where you have a hand of cards and then whoever has the highest hand at the end wins the prize,” Stark said. “We just thought it would be really fun to turn that into a paddle event or a floating event where we’re going to put our boats in the water at the Hampton access point [to the Buckhannon River], and we’ll just float down to the college (boat ramp at the Elizabeth J. ‘Binky’ Poundstone Memorial Riverwalk).”

Anyone with a kayak, canoe or raft may register for the event starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 21. The Paddle and Float will begin at 10 a.m., and as of Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Charleston predicted sunny skies and highs in the mid-80s.

“It’s $10 a person to enter that day. You’ll receive a hand of cards, and you can buy a couple extra booster cards to increase your chances of winning – two for $5,” Stark said. “At the end of the course down at college, whoever has the best poker hand will win a $100 Walmart gift card.”

Stark said members of the band incur more expenses than people realize.

“The band has very little funding from the county (school system), so anything that the band needs in terms of instrument repair, uniform alterations, a lot of our travel expenses, we raise the money for that,” Stark said. “Just like every other organization, last year’s COVID situation really, really hurt our funding, so that’s why we’re coming out early this year, and we’re trying to get money to put in our general band fund to make sure the kids have what they need.”

Every year, there are students unable to purchase band shoes or T-shirts, and this fundraiser is also intended to help those students, Stark explained.

“We try to make sure that everybody has access to what they need to be successful in band,” she said. “We are just here to boost the kids, so 100 percent of what we make goes back directly to the kids and we just want to try to make them as successful as possible.”

The band also hopes to bring back their annual fruit sale fundraiser this year – likely around November.

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