- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - A high school band in northeast Mississippi has been invited to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, but it must raise money quickly to pay for it.

Tupelo High School band has to raise $75,000 to $100,000 for the entire 150-member squad to make the trip, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2h8VHyQ ).

It’s estimated that charter buses will cost $10,000 each, and the band will need four of them, plus hotel rooms.

“We want every child to be able to attend this historic event,” said Rick Murphy, the school’s band director. “This isn’t a red thing or a blue thing - it’s a red, white and blue thing. It’s an American event for the people of the United States.”

The plans aren’t final, but the band is expected to leave Jan. 18 for the Jan. 20 inauguration, the newspaper reported.

An online fundraising account will be set up soon, and donations are being accepted at the CREATE Foundation, organizers said.

“It doesn’t matter how small it is - every little bit counts,” said Christy Higgins, president of the band’s booster group.

“This is an opportunity few people have, and we’ll be representing not only Tupelo and Lee County, but all of Mississippi as well,” Higgins said.

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