The University of Southern Mississippi’s Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and Dixie Darlings will use their halftime performance to fight a deadly illness Friday, Sept. 17 at the Southern Miss vs. University of Kansas football game.
Through the Marching for Hope program, the 300-plus member band created personal web pages with photos and messages to raise money for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association throughout their entire season.
“Many supporters of The Pride have generously contributed to the project, but now we ask our Golden Eagles fans to team up and help raise money for ALS,” said Mohamad Schuman, associate director of University Bands at Southern Miss.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes its victims to become completely paralyzed. The disease affects motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. When the motor neurons die, a patient’s muscles waste away. Gradually, the patient is robbed of the ability to walk, speak, eat and eventually breathe. Upon diagnosis, patients are given only two to five years to live. There is no cure for ALS.
All of the money raised through the Marching for Hope program will fund patient services to help people suffering with the devastating illness and research to find a cure.
“While we’re soliciting donations for our appearance in the 84th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, we decided it was time to give back to the community, said Schuman.
The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and Dixie Darlings are preparing to make their debut appearance in New York City as the first university band in the state of Mississippi selected for this prestigious honor, yet with their initiative to fight ALS they’re still taking time to give back.
Kevin Shira, senior drum major for The Pride of Mississippi believes it’s the perfect way to say “Thank you.”
“This year The Pride of Mississippi has been blessed and we are very fortunate to be able to participate in the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Shira, a native of Stafford, Va. “Without the support of our local community this would not be possible. Marching for ALS is the least we could do to show our thanks and support.”
To make a donation, visit www.usm.edu/pride.
* Marching for Hope® is the property of Ocean 2 Ocean Productions and was created and developed by Cheryl DeLeonardis in 2008. For more information contact Ocean 2 Ocean Productions at 954 922 7013 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.