THOMAS — It's official. The Snake River Band program has earned a $25,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project.
Band director Randy Brady was notified of this good news Sunday evening.
"It was a long-shot," Brady said. "It's pretty remarkable that we were seventh among 224 grant requests.
"We are very, very grateful for the support," he said.
The main purpose [for entering this contest] was to get larger instruments; to start to make the band more competitive," Brady said, "and to offer a quality band experience."
Brady plans to buy a marimba and big chimes to add to the percussion section as well as two brand new marching tubas. At least one of these instruments may be able to convert into a concert tuba.
Brady also wants so purchase two new quint drums.
"I'm going to put some bids out and hope to purchase them in our local market," said Brady. "It would be nice to help our local market."
To qualify as one of the top 15 winners, people were asked to vote once each day. This could be done via two separate media methods — on the web and/or texting so a person could vote twice each day for his/her favorite project.
"To get the word out, I would put out a Facebook profile every night," Brady said.
Brady also contacted schools and band programs in District 5, including Marsh Valley and Bear Lake. He also contacted Madison HIgh School, Blackfoot, Highland, Century, American Fork, Utah, and Mountain Crest High School in Logan, Utah.
"The band director at Mountain Crest was very helpful because he passed my request to his contacts," Brady said. "The work is definitely worth it."
This is the second year the Pepsi Refresh Project has awarded these grants to communities across the nation.
According to its website, Pepsi has impacted the lives of more than 1.4 million people through more than 1,000 grants awarded.
The Pepsi Refresh Project awards $1.25 million each month for seven months of the year, Brady said. In two years, Pepsi Refresh has given away over $7 million.
Snake River's project, "Refresh the sound of the Snake River Bands by getting new instruments" placed seventh among 224 grant proposals.
Pepsi Refresh gave grants to each of the top 15 projects in the $25,000 contest. Applications were submitted in Arts and Music, Community, Education and Pepsi Challenge categories. The Snake River project was one of seven grants awarded in Arts and Music. Seven projects received grants in the Community category and one project qualified in the Education category.
In addition, Pepsi also gave out 20 grants for $5,000 apiece, 15 grants for $10,000 and 10 grants for $50,000.
Applications can be submitted now for 2012 to the Pepsi Refresh Project. Voting begins in April.