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DCHS marching band hosts car show fundraiser
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DCHS band director Nicholas Gattis stands with William Holloway, a Dawson County Middle School band member whose family owns the vehicle that won the People’s Choice Award at the DCHS band car show. (Photo courtesy of Helen Holloway)

For the second year running, the DCHS Tiger Pride band hosted a car show to help fund next school year’s marching band season, with this year’s proceeds going toward new uniforms.

Taking place on Saturday, April 23, this year’s event saw the number of cars on display and members of the community in attendance increase, which contributed to a successful day for the band.

“The turnout was fantastic,” DCHS band director Nicholas Gattis said. “For our second show, it is really impressive what we are able to accomplish together. It’s nice to see our community come together to support the band program.”

A wide range of car makes, models and ages were brought out to the high school campus with a couple of 1930s Fords and a 2021 Toyota Supra representing the extremes of that range.

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A row of classic cars are on display at the DCHS band car show fundraiser. - photo by Rio White

After perusing through the colorful rows, people were able to vote for their favorite vehicle.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award was a 1977 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper van, owned by Helen Holloway. Her orange van included a lively interior with a tartan bench seat and multi-colored rug.

Two other awards were given out for Director’s Choice and Sponsor’s Choice, as well as plaques for other top-rated vehicles.

Many cars stood out, including a black Ford Fairlane 500 with a mock food tray attached to the driver’s side window, complete with classic 1950s drive-in food fare.

Also present were classic pickup trucks with colors including pastel blue and yellow. Two of the more unusual finds included a 1970s International Harvester Scout and a 1990s imported Toyota Hilux SUV with a right-sided steering wheel. 

The collective effort by Gattis, band members, parents and volunteers helped bring together an event that included much more than just the cars.

Several booths were open as part of a raffle, with items including a homemade DCHS band quilt. Volunteers also helped set up food, which included freshly-cooked barbecue, hamburgers and hot dogs.

In addition to helping direct traffic, band members also presided over a face-painting booth and a bouncy house to entertain children. Toward the end of the show, the band came together and recited a few pieces commonly played during the marching band season. 

“A lot of our events are all hands on deck and the students and parents consistently go above and beyond to make our events a success,” Gattis said. “The fact that on a Saturday we had students and parents helping out from 7 a.m set up to 3 p.m clean up is a real testament to the work ethic here.”

At the awards ceremony, Gattis thanked all who attended as well as the event’s main sponsor, Daikin. 

While the marching band season will not begin until the summer band camps, the symphonic band has one last event before the end of the school year.

The spring concert will be on Thursday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. and will have both the high school symphonic band and the junior high school band combine forces for a final concert of the year.