Music to This Band's Ears - NBC New York

Music to This Band's Ears

The Soul Tigers get a crucial donation to keep them marching on



    Music program gets crucial donation to keep marching on. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010)

    It started off as a normal day of practice in Brookly at I-S 292.    

    Knees up!  Members of the Soul Tigers marching band were responding to every command.
    But it was just last week that the more than 120 students first learned their program was in jeopardy because of state budget cuts..that caused one of their major funders to pull out. Little did they know they were in for a surprise.
    "Today I'm here to present a check for 50 thousand dollars!" said Suzy Welch with excitement. Business authors, Welch and her husband Jack -- the former CEO and Chairmen of GE, the parent company of  NBC Universal -- donated 50 thousand dollars to the band after seeing their story on News 4.
    "We looked at eachother and said let's help those kids," said Welch, bringing tears to dozens of eyes.
    "It was a big surprise because I didn't know that they didn't know," said Welch.

    Students were overwhelmed by the New Yorkers" generosity.
    "We thank her a lot and we thank God," said drum major Edwin Figueroa.
    "50 thousand dollars! That's a lot of money," said band student Kwanisha Ghe.
    The school's principal went into the happy dance.
    "This is the first time that anyone has done anything like that for us over here in east new york," said principal Everett Hughes.
    Parents, teachers and administrators were blown away by the Welch's act of kindness.
    "This is a big thing for us so we can go further and do better things, said Kisha Farley.
    Ms. G counting her blessings telling us her prayers were answered.

    "All I can say is our prayers have been answered and this is a gift from God," said Betty Gibbs.
    "She did it out of the kindness of her heart and we really appreciate everything," said band director Kenyatte Hughes.
    As for Suzy and Jack, the kids wanted say...
    "Thank You!"