United join Penns Manor students on band tour | Pennsylvania

ARMAGH, Pa. – Students and officials of the Penns Manor Area School District are universally commended for an act of generosity that allows members of the United High School Band to take a trip of a lifetime to Walt Disney World.

Just days ago, that opportunity seemed to have been missed when it was discovered that money raised for the musical trip was missing, a situation being investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police.

United administrators were forced to cancel the trip, which had been planned for years.

But then the Penns Manor band and the school administration invited the United students to join them for their upcoming performance at Universal Studios Florida near Disney World. It’s the same trip and show that United had planned.

United have gladly agreed and now some of the older band members, paying their own expenses, will be taking part in the trip to Penns Manor from April 10th to 15th.

“We just had the idea of ​​inviting them over so their juniors and seniors don’t miss out on this opportunity,” said Paul Rode, band director at Penns Manor. “We’ve all just made it through this pandemic and the kids have lost a tremendous amount of opportunity because of this time. That was one thing we might be able to help salvage for her.”

Penns Manor had reserved two buses but only needed one so there was plenty of seating.

Rode brought the proposal to Penns Manor officials, who immediately supported the plan.

“We’re glad we’re able to take an unfortunate situation and not miss it,” said Michelle Dolges, principal of Penns Manor Area High School. “We are more than happy to include them. When we shared it with our band, they were excited to include her and our kids were thrilled they came to join us.”

A previous Tribune-Democrat article about Penn’s Manor’s generosity received numerous comments on the newspaper’s Facebook page.

Descriptions such as “selfless,” “compassionate,” “wonderful,” “fabulous,” and “giving” were common.

“Prayers answered!!!” posted a person identified as Donna Marino. “It’s nice to see ‘neighbors’ helping ‘neighbors’. This is a great example of caring. Thank you Penns Manor for helping to make this long awaited journey a reality for these fine young people. God bless you all!!”

Janell Butterly wrote: “Call to Penns Manor!! It’s great when someone stands up to help children in a difficult situation!”

Connie Roles Ringler added: “Proud to be a Penns Manor alumni and (former) President of Band Booster. Very glad to see PM.”

United officials expressed their thanks in a statement sent to us earlier this week.

“In this era of polarization and division around us, there is perhaps no better lesson about the true good that comes through working together, trust, support and caring,” United said in the press release. “We thank both school boards, especially the Penns Manor Board, PM Music Boosters, the band directors, the communities, the parents who shuffled the timetables and the teachers who rearranged the classes. Most of all we thank the students, our future, who learn that you can compete, you can have differences, but together you can achieve the most wonderful solutions. As the commercial says, “What do we do next?” ‘The band veterans are going to Disney World!’”

United students pay for travel with a combination of funds still in the account, additional fundraising, contributions anticipated from a future GoFundMe campaign, and funds advanced by the district as needed.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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