North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Car wash helps raise funds for Arlington High School band


October 4, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

photo BY CHRISTOPHER ANDERSSON Arlington High School band members wash a car at the band program's annual car wash on Sept. 30.

Arlington High School band members provided free car washes to community members to help raise funds for equipment and travel on Sept. 30.

"This is our 21st annual band Car Wash-a-Thon," said band director John Grabowski. "Our goal is to get through 150 cars in five hours."

"We have four washing stations, two drying stations, it's basically chaos all day long," he said.

The fundraiser is unique because it raises money through pledge sponsors instead of directly charging at the car wash.

"So, for example, someone, before we even do the wash, can go to their neighbor and say 'we're going to wash 150 cars on Sept. 30 and how much do you want to pledge?'" said Grabowski.

Donations can range from a $0.10 to $2 or higher per car, which after 150 cars end up being $15 to $300, he said.

Those who still want to donate can at the event, but "if someone wants to come through for free, they get a car wash for free," said Grabowski.

Band members said they liked helping the community.

"All of us really like the fact band is a huge way we can benefit our community," said Hannah Poteet, a junior and the main student organizer of the event.

"We like benefitting ourselves because band is such a fun activity and we also help people who want a free car wash," she said.

It's also a way for band members to get to know each other.

"Everyone's out here helping each other," said freshman band member Katie Clark.

"We all work together and there's just this team bonding," said Walter Pittson, a junior and a band member.

It also gets students to get to know those who they may not regularly interact with.

"It's a really good way to bond with people. I've met so many freshman today, and the freshman are bonding with the upperclassmen, and upperclassmen are bonding with other upperclassmen," said Poteet.

The fundraiser helps support the Arlington High School's band programs.

"We use the funds for defraying costs for travel and for equipment, like new drums and other types of new equipment," said Grabowski.

Travel is a huge cost for the band usually, especially if they want to go out of state.

"We're really trying to go to Disneyland this year, but it's very expensive this year so we're going to see how much money we make here and how much we can continue to make to see if we can pull it off," said Grabowski.

The band programs themselves also help students. Members said they enjoyed having a group activity.

Christopher Andersson

Arlington High School senior and band member Susan Lee scrubs down a car at the band program's annual car wash on Sept. 30.

"It's so much fun and there's so much energy and we work as a team," said Pittson. "It's bigger than just one person."

"We all come together and support each other and we do a bunch of activities," said Clark.

Poteet said that the band members are often very close, like a family.

"People say that all the time about the groups they participate in, but it really is like a family to us," she said.

She also enjoys her position as a leader in the band, which she said has helped her.

"I really have benefitted personally, learning new leadership skills, meeting new friends and doing all these things in the community," she said.

The Arlington High School band program holds their car wash every year on the last Saturday of September.


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