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October 2010

Up, up and away: Raising funds in the Farmers hot air balloon

21st Century Insurance and parent company Farmers Insurance Group® recently had the chance to participate in the fund raising efforts for a Pennsylvania high school marching band bound for the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.


This year, the Downingtown East and West High School marching bands of Downingtown, Pa., located near the 21st Century headquarters in Wilmington, Del., will participate in the 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade. But it costs money to get to Pasadena.

So when the Farmers hot air balloon visited the 21st Century home office in mid-September, it made a quick trek north into Pennsylvania to help with fund raising efforts for the two schools. On that day, the 21st Century and Farmers gave tethered balloon rides to people who made a donation to the Downingtown Marching Band.

"Farmers is proud to be able to help with this great fund raising event," said Jeff Cable, pilot for the Farmers hot air balloon. "It’s wonderful to see people come out in support of the bands, while getting a mini glimpse of what it’s like to ride in a hot air balloon."

The Tournament of Roses Parade, which will be held on Jan. 1, 2011, is the world’s premier community showcase featuring equestrians, marching bands and elaborately designed floral floats. Farmers has been a proud part of the Tournament of Roses for more than 50 years. In addition, it plays a significant role in the parade as the official sponsor of the marching bands for the second year in a row.

"It’s not every day that you have a chance to take a ride in the sky," said Jaynine Warner, communications and community relations manager. "The day's events raised more than $1,300 for the Downingtown High School Marching Band."

Downingtown East and West High Schools were chosen from an international pool of applicants to represent Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic states (as one band) in the parade.

How you can help
If you would like to help any of the talented, participating marching bands in their quest to get to the Tournament of Roses Parade, you can make donations by contacting them online. See the list below of the 20 participating bands for 2011 and click on the links to their respective Web pages.

Tournament of Roses – participating marching bands

• Albertville High School, Albertville, Ala.
• All Birdville High Schools representing Birdville, Haltom and Richland High Schools of North Richland Hills, Tex.
• Banda Musical Delfines, Xalpa, Vercruz, Mexico
• Cal Fire Pipes and Drums, Sacramento, Calif.
• The Pipes & Drums of CA Prof. Firefighters, Sacramento, Calif.
• Central Carroll High School, Carrolton, Ga.
• Downingtown High School East and West Campus, Downingtown, Pa.
• Lindberg High School, St. Louis, Mo.
• Londonderry High School, Londonderry, N.H.
• Upland High School, Upland, Calif.
• North Carolina Central University, Durham, N.C.
• North Japan Honor Green Band, Japan
• Owasso High School, Owasso, Okla.
• Southwest Dekalb High School, Decatur, Ga.
• Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, N.C.
• Wyoming All State, Wyo.
• Salvation Army
• Pasadena City College Honor Band & Herald Trumpets, Pasadena, Calif.
• United States Marines Corps Band
• Los Angeles Unified School District Honor Band, Los Angeles, Calif.

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