HANFORD — Get your big hair and leg warmers ready because Hanford is going back to the '80s for one night during the Hanford West Band Backer’s annual dinner dance fundraiser.
Now in its 22nd year, the Band Backer’s biggest fundraiser will take place from 6-11 p.m. on March 7 at the Hanford Civic Auditorium.
Following the success of last year’s Roaring Twenties-themed event, Backers President Joy Muwaswes said this year’s chosen theme is “Totally '80s.”
Not only will popular live band Run 4 Cover play some of the biggest 80s classics during the night, but Hanford West High School’s very own Jazz Band will play hits from the decade during the appetizer and cocktail hour.
“You won’t be disappointed with them,” said HWHS Band Director Eric Ramirez.
The event will include appetizers, dinner, dessert, two full bars with a signature drink for the night and a silent auction with several big-ticket items up for grabs, said Muwaswes.
Adding to the fun will be a photo booth with authentic '80s props and two classic Nintendo consoles set up and ready for guests to play, she said.
“It will be as authentically '80s as we can possibly make it,” Ramirez said.
The whole idea of the fundraiser is to bring immersive entertainment to Hanford while raising money for the band.
All of the money raised during the event will go towards helping Hanford West’s marching band, two concert bands, two jazz bands, percussion and color guard. Altogether, Ramirez said he has 140 students in his program.
The marching band had a successful year in field shows, placing first in in almost every competition they entered this season.
“It was a really strong season,” Ramirez said.
However, he said a full marching band season can cost anywhere from $40,000-$60,000 when you factor in the staffing, music, drill, props, food expenses and travel expenses to get into competitions.
While the school district is very supportive, Ramirez said having the Band Backers is so important to the success of the school’s band program. He said many of the students’ families also can’t afford to donate, especially when the students participate in other academic activities or sports.
Ramirez said the Backers not only donate their time, but fundraise to help cover costs not covered by the district budget.
Along with getting uniforms cleaned or purchasing new instruments or equipment, Muwaswes said the extra money also helps expose the students to experiences they might not normally be able to have — like a trip to the beach after a competition.
Upcoming experiences for the students include a trip to Disneyland for the marching band and color guard to attend workshops, and the Reno Jazz Festival for the jazz band.
“We can’t do it without our community,” Muwaswes said, adding gift cards for food or cash are always welcome throughout the year.
Muwaswes and Ramirez encourage the community to come out to the dinner and dance and just have a fun night in Hanford. Muwaswes said she hopes people are inspired to come watch the band throughout the year and continue to support the kids.
“We’re blessed to have a community that supports the arts,” Ramirez said.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 583-2423 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.