DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) -The Duncan Dehydrator Bicycle ride kicked off this morning to benefit the the local high school band. Over 650 riders came out today and set a new attendance record for the program to show their support for the Duncan High School Band. Although this fundraiser has been going on every year since 1990, the community has stepped up to make sure kids don't lose their extra curricular activities because the school district is struggling financially due to recent Oklahoma budget cuts.
"Band is something that means a lot to all of us and it's really fun," said Savanna Edwards, a Duncan band member,
Helping cook the riders their free lunch and cheering them on as they cross the finish line at the Dehydrator Bicycle ride is one way Savanna Edwards, a clarinet player in the Duncan band says thank you to those helping make her schools band a little bit better.
"I know that without it, we wouldn't get a lot of funding and our program wouldn't be where it is now," said Edwards.
Assistant band director, Dawn Haas says over her 9 years of being with the school and growing the Dehydrator program, they've been able to purchase many things they would never could get before.
"A new trailer that the band needed to haul our equipment, especially during football games or when we go to contests across the state. It might help us in purchasing larger instruments," said Haas.
An Elgin native, Tammy Holgren says her daughter first got her started in cycling and told her how much fun the ride in Duncan was. Now, 5 years later, she says she keeps coming back, specifically to help the students at Duncan succeed.
"The schools need anything that can help or support them because everything is getting cut and this is a way to help a program not get cut," said Holgren.
Edwards says she's thankful. Without the additional funds to help the Duncan band grow, she doesn't know what she would do because the program might not exist.
"We're all a pretty big family. I don't think that I would have the same friends or the same interests if I wasn't a part of it," said Edwards.
Haas says thanks to the residents of Southwest Oklahoma and people that continuously travel from all over every year that makes her students happy.
"We always appreciate everything that they do to help us and the community has never been anything but helpful," said Haas.