Mini Funk Band raising money for growing needs

SALISBURY — The Mini Funk Factory Marching Band is asking for help to give more children across the county the chance to make music.

The program is trying to raise $80,000 — or as much as it can — by July 8 to help provide students’ transportation, meals, instruments and music instruction. The online fundraising campaign can be found at www.indiegogo.com/projects/keep-the-funk-alive.


Director Anthony Johnson said the program is free and now open for any elementary and middle school students, but it’s targeted toward at-risk children.

“I’m afraid without funds, we’ll have to start charging the kids, and then we’re going to start losing the kids who the program was started for,” Johnson said. “I’d hate to get to the point where we’re going to have to charge, because that’s just another payment for a family who’s probably not going to be able to afford it.”

The Mini Funk Factory started three years ago as a drumline at Overton Elementary School. It soon grew into the first elementary school marching band in North Carolina.

This year, the band is expanding for the first time to any elementary or middle school child in the county.

As of Friday, Johnson said about 90 children are signed up from 13 schools in the Rowan-Salisbury School System.

“I know once school starts and the word starts spreading again, that’s probably going to double in number,” Johnson said.

He said with the full $80,000, the band can provide transportation for all of the students to its new facility in Salisbury City Park. It would also purchase newer instruments to replace those that are wearing out.

“Right now, a lot of the instruments we have were used, donated from somewhere or purchased off eBay,” Johnson said. “Everything you would need to sustain a band, we’re in need of.”

Anyone who donates at least $500 will get a commemorative T-shirt to thank them for making history.

“There’s no other school system bands in North Carolina, just like we were the first and only elementary school marching band in the state,” Johnson said. “It’s part of history now.”

Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.

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