One of the highlights of being in Marching Band during my middle and high school years were some of the incredible trips we took to compete. We worked hard, saved our money, and the blood sweat and tears that we shed to make it to the national stage truly made the moment that much sweeter.

Laura Hardy / TSM
Laura Hardy / TSM

(Based on how blurry and old this photo is, you can tell it's been a few years since I was marching on the field.)

And after their hard work to get all the way to Orlando, Florida from Michigan, the Carson City-Crystal Marching Eagles were struck with tragedy earlier this week when one of their charter buses caught fire and most everything on board was a total loss.

According to the scanner call that was posted on Greater Grand Rapids Scanner Calls the band was leaving Walt Disney World when they had to pull over for a popped tire on their bus. Before long, they realized the bus was on fire and thankfully all got off before the bus was mostly destroyed by the fire.

Once they were able to assess everything that happened, they realized a majority of their belongings were a total loss, including the instruments they were traveling with, causing the band to no longer be able to perform in their competition this week.

Courtesy of Carson City-Crystal Eagles / GGRSG
Courtesy of Carson City-Crystal Eagles / GGRSG

While getting to go to Disney World is great, losing your chance to compete after all of that hard work must be devistating for these kids. Thankfully, once they arrive home Meyer Music of West Michigan has offered replacement instruments for the 19 students scheduled to perform in the Honors Band in Breckinridge on Thursday.

While the trip hasn't been what they expected, they have been able to go to Walmart to get some of their immediate needs, as well as spend a few extra days at Disney enjoying the park since they weren't able to compete.

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However, their journey home still has a few needs. On Monday evening, directors and parents realized the band members no longer have blankets and pillows for their ride back to Michigan tonight, so they have posted a venmo account asking for assistance to help make sure these students who have already gone through a traumatic event, can get back safely and comfortably.

So if you're able to help these kids who've already gone through a lot this weekend, it would be greatly appreciated. And here's hoping they can make it up with a big win at a future competition. We're all thinking of you here in West Michigan, Go Eagles!

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Gallery Credit: Big Joe Pesh / Facebook

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