Bellingham band Odd Ones Out pay it forward

Jeff Braimes, proud father of Vincent Braimes of Bellingham band Odd Ones Out, sent me an email about something pretty cool.

Here's what Jeff said: "Odd Ones Out has the good fortune of being invited to play in the garden at Boundary Bay a few times each summer. The past two summers have included a last day of school bash and also a Labor Day weekend summer sendoff. The shows are usually free, so the band doesn't get paid, at least in money. The satisfaction of playing in that wonderful setting is usually quite enough for them.

But before the School's Out show in June, the band heard that Bellingham High School's Showstoppers singing group was in danger of losing their funding to the budget ax.

Odd Ones Out passed the hat during the show and raised almost $300 that they will donate to the music department next week. We all know how hard our schools have been hit by belt-tightening decisions during these hard times. We also know that arts and music programs are often the first and hardest programs hit. It's not every day that students take matters into their own hands and throw down to help save a program -- and none of the boys in the band are involved directly with ShowStoppers. 

The Showstoppers' funding was restored over the summer, so Odd Ones Out are going to donate the money to the BHS music department to help build a "scholarship fund" for the orchestra's planned trip to Disneyland in the spring."

Today, the band presented their gift to orchestra director Nick Strobel and principal Jeff Vaughn.

When I asked Nick about this wonderful overture, here's his comment: "Jeff's got it. They were really excited to do the gig and are really looking forward to presenting the music department on Tuesday. We are lucky to have a pretty healthy music department but with a trip to Disneyland planned this spring, every extra bit helps out, so we really appreciate the band's gesture."