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Community, district rally to raise $115,000 for new Onalaska marching band uniforms

Drew Kelly

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It took just five months for the Onalaska community to rally behind its high school to raise $150,000 for new marching band uniforms.

Band director Robert Coe said the change was necessary given the condition of the 16-year-old originals.

“So, we started in October, after getting permission from the school board,” Coe said. “By March 1, we fundraised over $115,000 toward uniforms, a trailer and equipment to hold the uniforms.”

That includes $35,000 from the district.

Coe says the new uniforms are lighter and will impress the audience at the many events the Hilltoppers marching band does across the country.

“They were significantly heavier, older style, harder to clean – they had to be dry cleaned,” Coe said of the cotton and wool uniforms. “And then all the performances we do, our uniforms get a lot of abnormal wear and tear.”

The Onalaska marching band has about 150 members.

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