Car wash raises funds for AHS band | SLIDESHOW

ARLINGTON — Hundreds of cars drove through the Arlington High School parking lot for the 16th annual car wash-a-thon hosted by the AHS bands, on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Each member of the bands collected donation pledges for the total number of cars they could wash, with a maximum of 150 cars. Despite rainy weather and cloudy skies, a line of vehicles still grew behind a number of car washing stations set up in front of the gym, as dozens of students splashed and scrubbed.

“This is our 16th annual car wash and we’ve never missed a year,” said AHS band director John Grabowski. “I’ve got to give a shout-out to Rand Pigott. He was my booster president at the time, and he came up with the idea. We’ve been doing this ever since.”

Grabowski said that the car wash always attracts more than 100 visitors, although he believes that the funds raised follow the economy.

“Last year was the first year that we didn’t hit 150 cars,” he said. “I can’t say for sure that it was the economy, but that’s a consideration.”

Despite financial struggles, the bands still succeeded in this year’s event.

“It’s a pledge car wash, so people can come in and get their car washed for free. Most people donate of course, but each student collects donation pledges, say 10 cents a car and we cap it off at 150 cars. So instead of making a couple hundred dollars, we have the potential to raise much more,” said Grabowski.

Each band was represented, both jazz bands and the concert band, as well as National Honor Society members who were volunteering as part of their community service hours.

Several parents provided snacks as part of the AHS Band Boosters bake sale, which included everything from red velvet cupcakes to pumpkin bread.

“People have been very generous. These goodies were all donated, and we’ve raised a couple hundred dollars,” said Donna Chapman, a parent volunteer.

The money collected from the car wash and bake sale can assist in raising money for new instruments, as well as bringing down the cost of a class trip to Disneyland, scheduled for the end of the year.

“This is really our main fundraiser for the year,” said Grabowski. “It’s great, too, because if you look at this, we have all these kids working independently and the upperclassmen are helping out the freshman. They are building on each others’ shoulders.”

Grabowski said that no matter how much money is raised, he is proud of his students.

“I’ve got the best kids at this school. They are the leaders of the group. They have 4.0s and take every AP class they can take,” he said. “It’s really a privilege to work with these students.”

The band is always accepting donations for their booster fund as well as donations of gently used instruments. For more information contact Grabowski at 360-618-6300.


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