The Paschal Panther Marching Band is working hard on its biggest fundraiser of the year, the March-a-thon.

The third annual March-a-thon is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. The 10-kilometer parade begins at Paschal High School and winds its way through neigborhoods before ending at the Tom Thumb Shopping Center, at the corner of Hulen Street and Bellaire Drive. Breaks will be taken at Bluebonnet Circle and Foster Park.

109 residents may have seen students in purple Paschal Marching Band t-shirts canvassing neighborhoods and passing out flyers. Members of the community are asked to pledge donations. Sponsors can give a flat donation or pay per kilometer. The March-a-thon raises money to help pay for band fees and activities, such as school trips. Money also helps pay for instruments and band uniforms.

“We’re just going to go around, talking to people and asking for donations,” senior band president Oakleigh Beard said. “[We will] let them know that we are going to be coming through playing some tunes that we’ve worked really hard to prepare.”

“It’s a great fundraiser, in that we can just go out and play for the public, and we’re receiving donations,” band director Bryan Wright said. “100 percent of their donation is going to the Paschal Band and it’s a good thing.”

Last year more than $14,000 was raised. Wright and the marching band hope to top that figure.

“[Last year’s March-a-thon] was a lot of fun,” drum major Scott Campbell said. “It was very hot – we would constantly take water breaks. But it was very rewarding.”

Senior trombonist Dean Del Rio participated last year. “It was really fun. It also helped [the band], with the kids seeing us and wanting to join [in the future].”

“It’s a good community event,” added Wright. “Once we end up at Tom Thumb, those who just happen to be at the grocery store – there’s a marching band in the parking lot, playing some tunes. So, it’s a nice surprise for a lot of people. A very pleasant surprise.”

“We’ve already raised $4,000 in two days of pledge drives,” Wright stated. “It’s really taken off.”