Featured Stories

Turning to corporate contest to fund high school music program

In times like this when the economy is going through tough times, money is tight. Priorities focus around what schools need to survive and function daily to meet the needs of the district's students. The only way to replace something that is needed, but can't be purchased due to limited funds, is to get creative.

At the beginning of the school year, the need to replace band instruments in Scappoose School District came up as a topic of discussion. With money being so tight in the school district due to the tough economy, other options needed to be explored.

After talking to Mr. Jackson about the need for new band instruments, I decided to check into other options and went online to see what was out there.

This is when I found the Pepsi Refresh Project.

For the past two years, they have been offering an opportunity to be awarded a grant for worthy causes that benefit the community. The grants were offered every month. The application was straightforward with specific requirements that had to be followed, and a limited window of time to submit. I submitted as an individual with school district approval for a $25,000 request for new instruments for Scappoose School District bands. I worked with Mr. Jackson to develop a list of which instruments were in the greatest need. I also submitted a profile picture and pictures that showed the condition of several different instruments, made a YouTube video and created a Facebook page.

This proposal was submitted the first week of November during the five-day window. The following week, 1,500 proposals were randomly selected to be reviewed to make certain they met the requirements.

Now that we have been selected to compete, it's all about getting votes from everyone. If we place in the top 15, we will win the contest.

The best part about this? It doesn't cost anything but the time it takes to vote. The community and anyone who supports it through votes is who is responsible for winning. Anyone, anywhere, can vote for this contest. All that has to be done is to do to go to RefreshEverything.com/replacescappooseoregonbandinstruments.

You get five votes per day. Register once with your email and password and sign in daily to vote. If everyone voted even one day using all five votes -one to vote for us and the others for other grants asking them to vote for us, too - and encourage everyone they could to do the same thing, the results could be phenomenal! You can also use text or mobile to give extra votes. The best part is that there are no strings attached, and it doesn't cost the school district anything.

The community could help make this happen and help Scappoose bands to get much-needed new instruments. Many of the instruments they have are 40-plus years old and desperately need to be replaced. You can go to YouTube and see the video from the Pepsi Refresh Project by typing in 'zach scappoose.' Voting takes place between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31. The winners of the contest will be announced in January. There is also a Facebook page dedicated to this contest. Go to facebook.com/musicmom1997 to see more about this project, and if you would like to help us build an alliance with others to gain more votes, check out the 'like' list and vote for these groups.

If you have any comments or questions, leave them on Facebook and they will be answered or responded to. October grants won with 17,000 votes so we need as many people voting for us as possible.

We are working on developing an alliance with four other Oregon grants that are up for vote. The ones I have contacted are 1. Protect Homeless Dogs Southern Oregon Humane Society 2. Help Save Our Stray Cats in Linn County 3. Help Our Rescue Provide Abandoned Bassets and 4. Update Our Preschool Equipment.

Vote for them and help us form an alliance. If we all work together, we can help each other win.

This is a great opportunity for the Scappoose School District's band, grades five and up, to get much needed new instruments, and a great way for the community to support this project that is both fun and free. The impact of winning will impact the school district's bands for years to come.

- Mary Jane Emmons, Scappoose