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Mercer Islander donates to Battle Ground band
After reading the story in the Reporter's Aug. 31 issue about the Daybreak Middle School marching band in Battle Ground, Wash., Islander Bruce Florsheim wanted to help the fledgling band. So, he sent them an unsolicited donation.
All three of Florsheim's kids grew up on Mercer Island and were in the Mercer Island High School marching band.
"I want to make that experience available to the kids in Battle Ground," Florsheim said.
The band leader at Daybreak Middle School, George Izzet, was shopping for uniforms for the band in 2010, and soon realized it was too expensive to buy new ones, as a single complete new uniform would cost at least $350. The regional representative at Stanbury Uniforms, where Izzet was shopping, told him that Mercer Island High School, which has the same colors as Daybreak, had old uniforms to sell.
Izzet and MIHS band director Parker Bixby got in contact and a deal was struck for Daybreak to purchase the old uniforms for $1,400. Daybreak still owes $700, which Bixby said they can pay off whenever they can.
Florsheim said his donation can be used however Izzet sees fit — to pay off some of the debt to MIHS, or for instruments, or whatever. He said there is no restriction.
Izzet said he received an envelope in the mail with a return address from Mercer Island, and had a feeling it was something positive.
"The first thing I noticed was a copy of the article," Izzet said. There was a card inside with Florsheim's name on it that said, “Your band looks great. Here’s a contribution for your uniform fund. Use it to help pay Mercer Island (High School) or to add patches or new lettering over the Mercer Island (logo) ... All the best! Bruce Florsheim.”
Izzet said they are keeping the "MI" on the front of the uniforms because it's too expensive to remove them, and also because it can be read as “IM” — band members will chant “I AM Daybreak” when they march.
"Daybreak Dragons" has been patched over Mercer Island on the back.
New overlays would be about $90 each, but patches with the Daybreak identification for the back would be just $30 for each overlay, so that’s what they’re buying. The unsolicited check from Florsheim amounted to an unplanned kickoff to fund the drive for the patches. The initial goal, Izzet said, is $2,400 to buy 80. Donations may be made out to “Daybreak Band Boosters” and sent to George Izzett, Daybreak Middle School, P.O. Box 200, Battle Ground, Wash., 98604.
"I'm glad I was in a position to help them out a little bit," Florsheim said.