The 2nd Annual Tour de Ford Ten Miler Road Race, held at the historic Ford Plantation, was a dream come true for the Richmond Hill High School band as the race raised $9,539 this year.
The race attracted more than 140 runners, and the addition of band and color guard members at six out of the 10 mile points playing live music was a great experience for many, according to race directors Ron and Sandra Elliott.
Frank Peterson, RHHS band boosters president, also shared his excitement about the race, saying, "The response to the race, from a sponsorship as well as a participant point of view, was truly incredible. Over 30 local businesses partnered with the boosters to help support the band program. The funds will allow the band to repair and replace worn out instruments, as well as purchase additional instruments so that more students can participate.”
Dr. Danny Kiene, Richmond Hill band director, agreed.
“This incredible opportunity for the students will be a 'game changer.' Because of the Tour de Ford race, and the relationships we have built both with Georgia Game Changers and the fantastic staff and residents of The Ford Plantation, we will be able to move our band program much farther forward and implement some ideas that would have been impossible before this event"
Kiene added, "We will be able to not only meet the needs of the existing students, but also add sound support and other material needs to make the program really stand out in the state. We are so very grateful to have been the beneficiaries of this amazing community outreach. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with both wonderful organizations."
The race could not have been successful without the superb effort of many of the band boosters, with key leaders being Hillary Nelson, fund raising chair, and Lacindra (Laci) Molinari, volunteer, who were successful in finding a record number of sponsors for the race.
“I was amazed at the overwhelming generosity of the local businesses that sponsored the RHHS marching band,” Molinari said.
The title sponsor was United Community Bank Financial Services, the title sponsor of the Tour de Ford inaugural race in 2016 as well. Senior Financial Advisor James Magness, and his son, Owen, both also ran the race for a second year in a row.
"I have seen what Georgia Game Changers has done for this community over the last five years and I see the impact of their attitudes all over Coastal Georgia,” Magness said. “How could you not want to be a part of that?"