Chimacum High School Marching Band sells fireworks to fund trip to Hawaii for Pearl Harbor Day parade
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Forrest Brennan, left, performs with the Chimacum High School Marching Band at this year’s Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival parade in this photo taken in May. — Karen Brennan

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

CHIMACUM — Sales of fireworks at the Chimacum High School Marching Band’s stand this Fourth of July holiday will support a trip to Hawaii for the young musicians.

The band’s fireworks stand, now open next to Carl’s Business Supply at 10733 Rhody Drive, is part of the effort to send the group to the 50th state where it will participate in the Pearl Harbor Day parade in Honolulu on Dec. 7.

The Band Booster Fireworks Stand is open from 10 a.m. to
8 p.m. through Friday.

The band of 60 student musicians must raise about $75,000 to pay for the trip, according to Whitney Meissner, high school principal.

The parade will be on one day out of the five-day trip, leaving four days of sightseeing and historical programs for the students.

“It’s really exciting that Chimacum gets to participate in this,” Meissner said.

“A lot of our kids have never left the state, or even the [North Olympic] Peninsula, and giving them a chance to see these historical and architectural landmarks is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Many students will be able to come up with travel money on their own, but at least half of them will need some financial assistance, Meissner said.

“Half of our kids are on the free lunch program and would never be able to do this without the support of the community,” she said.

A recent pie fundraiser brought in about $9,000.

Students are offering labor at $10 per hour for yard work and miscellaneous jobs, all of which will go toward the trip.

The labor force is organized into 11 teams, such as Team Nordland and Team Port Townsend, with each headed by a parent leader.

Meissner said that other fundraising opportunities will be explored, but he hopes they will be unique and not overlap money-raising efforts by other organizations.

The Pearl Harbor parade is an annual event held on the anniversary of the Japanese attack that led the United States to enter World War II.

In 2013, seven high school bands participated.

Meissner said the Chimacum Band has received invitations to apply to march in the event, but this was the first time the school felt it was ready.

Up to now, big band trips have taken place every four years, but with the growth of the band and an increase in its skill level, Meissner would like to double that frequency.

A trip to Disneyland in 2012 gave the band members some valuable experience, including the use of the Disneyland sound studio in which they made a recording.

They also met several of the Disneyland musicians, Meissner said.

She said that specifics for the upcoming trip have yet to be determined but expected it would give the students a better sense of history.

Meissner, who has accompanied students on past trips, plans to sit this one out.

Her 15-year-old son, Jack Meissner, is in the percussion section.

“As a principal and a parent this makes me very proud,” she said. “But I’ll probably stay home for this one, to allow Jack to experience this for himself.”

Karen Brennan, a parent of two band members, is confident the band’s fundraising goal will be achieved.

“Our community and our band families are pulling together in ways they never have before,” she said.

“It is so powerful for our kids to see and experience what is possible.

“This expedition, I believe, will honor our parents’ and grandparents’ generation in a profound way, and it is a privilege to be part of the process.”

To line up band labor for miscellaneous tasks, call the team leaders: In Chimacum, Jamie Jensen, 360-732-4745 or Frank Trafton, 360-301-2402; Nordland, Karen Brennan, 360-774-0242; Quilcene/Brinnon, Nikki Brakeman, 360-223-6550; Port Hadlock, Trisha Miller, 360-385-2373, Dawn Crocker, 360-344-2421 or Jacqueline Montgomery 360-301-6896; Port Ludlow, Jeannine Jonsson, 206-250-3463, Tamara Richey, 360-301-9718 or Whitney Meissner 360-316-1088; Port Townsend, Consuelo Brennan, 360-379-2602.

For more information, email Brennan at

Direct contributions can be sent to Chimacum Band Boosters Association, PO Box 631, Chimacum, WA 98325.

The school is also sponsoring another fireworks stand near Ferino’s Pizza, 846 Ness’ Corner Road, which benefits the senior class.


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

Last modified: June 29. 2014 7:12PM
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