The second 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 $9,539.09 this year.
The race attracted more than 140 runners, and the addition of the 25-member band and color guard members at six mile markers was a “magical” experience for many, according to race directors Ron and Sandra Elliott.
Frank Peterson, RHHS Band Boosters president, also shared his excitement about the race.
"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,” Peterson said. “As an all-volunteer nonprofit Boosters program, 100 percent of all donations directly impact current and future band students."
Dr. Danny Kiene, Richmond Hill High School Band director serving his 11th year, said the 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," he said. "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 relied heavily on the efforts of many of the Band Boosters, with key leaders being Hillary Nelson, Boosters treasurer, and Lacindra (Laci) Molinari, band 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.
United Community Bank Financial Services was the title sponsor of the event for the second year. Senior Financial Advisor James Magness and his son, Owen, both ran the race as well.
"I have seen what Georgia Game Changers has done for this community over the last five years and I see the impact of their ‘game-changing’ attitudes all over Coastal Georgia. How could you not want to be a part of that?" Magness said.