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Grant keeps marching Martians on the road



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August 28, 2013 - Goodrich-Thanks to a grant from a major corporation, the marching band will be looking sharp when the take their show on the road.

The Meijer Foundation recently donated $7,500 for the purchase of a 28-foot trailer supplied by Whitmore Lake based SLM Trailers for the 86-member band. The Martian logo, paint and decals were funded by the sale of the old bus and purchased from Brighton-based W4 Sign.

Before the upgrade, the band was using a converted 1986 school bus with the seats removed to create enough room to store and transport equipment.

"Honestly, the old bus had seen better days," said Aaron Orkisz, band director. "The bus was really showing its age—we questioned how much longer it would last."

After a recommendation of Craig Hart, school bus head mechanic last year, Orkisz began the process of finding other means of transporting the band equipment.

"Superintendent Scott Bogner suggested we contact Meijer Corporation for a grant," he said. "It worked out for us. A Goodrich alumni and NASCAR fan purchased the old bus to drive to races so the cost to us was very minimal."

The trailer will provide a means to help transport equipment for statewide festivals and the annual trip to Disney World in Florida the band participates in each year. It also makes loading heavy bulky equipment into the trailer much easier, added Orkisz.

"The school is now proud to have such a sharp looking trailer when we travel," he said. "It's really a moving billboard."

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