DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) – The Duncan High School Band is getting ready for their annual fundraiser event, the "Dehydrator Bicycle Ride."
The Dehydrator has become one of Oklahoma's best cycling events. The event takes place at the Simmons Center in Duncan with rides that range from 10 miles to 80 miles.
With budget cuts affecting the entire state of Oklahoma, the band's booster club president says they may depend on more on donations this year than usual. They're hoping people will come out and show their support for one of the top bands in the state.
The fundraiser is one of the biggest events for trips and competitions for Duncan High School Band students. Band Booster President Mike Percy says with the budget crisis; this year's bike ride will help out more than previous years.
"I feel like our fundraising efforts are more crucial, especially. I see the Dehydrator as our cornerstone fundraiser for the year. It's the vast majority of the funds we raise in this one event. If we do well with that, we try to back off a little bit and not do a whole lot of other things because we know everyone is limited. Everybody is tight right now. Folks all over our community have lost jobs, just a lot of difficulty. You want to be careful about that but we feel like our organization needs to be in a close partnership with the school district. We don't want to take their responsibility but we want to come alongside and help provide some of the things. We need to do our best beyond what the school district is able to do," Peercy said.
Peercy says for the past 8 years he has enjoyed helping with this event and he is very grateful for the community support.
"This is something to celebrate when a lot of people in our community come together to do something that not for us. It all for our kids. It's all to benefit our kids and what they do, but it's a very important thing to celebrate those opportunities when we see a community do what a community is supposed to do which is to work together to make things happen," Peercy said.
Since 1990, The Dehydrator has earned the reputation of being one of the best and top rated cycling events in the state of Oklahoma. Ride coordinator Kent Collins has been part of the event for the past ten years and still gets excited on race day.
"I show up about 5:30 in the morning, so I get to watch the sun come up and the parking lot just starts coming alive. You start seeing all these people driving in and unloading, getting all their equipment ready and then the band starts playing and beyond that it is an organized chaos," Collins said
It is not too late to sign up for the event. Visit the Simmons Center and register in person until 9 p.m. July 29, or register July 30 from 5:30 a.m. until 6:45 a.m. The ride cost $30 dollars. Each participant will receive a goody bag and meal at the end of the event.
Money raised from this event will help supply new bicycles for The Toy Shop Christmas Drive. Last year, the event raised around 14 thousand dollars.