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ASU Alumni Support Rams in the Roses and Beyond

Original Publish Date: 
July 27, 2015

Special to the Metro

ALBANY, GA. – Fundraising for the “Rams in the Roses and Beyond Campaign” is steadily gaining momentum as Albany State University alumni are joining forces in support of the ASU Marching Band, the only Georgia Band and the only band in the Southeast scheduled to perform in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1. The campaign is designed to raise money to support the band’s trip to the parade, which will be seen New Year’s Day by more than 80 million viewers in more than 200 countries around the globe.

ASU alumni have taken the campaign to heart, planning to do what it takes to raise a large portion of the $250,000 needed for travel, accommodations and ground transportation for the 150-member band.

At the recent 2015 National Alumni Association Conference held in Columbus, Ga., Columbus Chapter President Jean Lynn issued to all ASU alumni and other alumni chapters to give $1,000 to help send the band to Pasadena.

“If you are a true Ram, this is the time for you to prove it,” Lynn said. “This puts us on an international platform and lets potential students in other cities know what we have to offer at ASU. I encourage other alumni chapters to accept the challenge and help raise money for our band.”

The Columbus Chapter made a check presentation of $3,000 to the university during the conference luncheon; ASU Band Director Michael Decuir was there to accept it. He said: “There’s no question this university, like other universities, survives and thrives because of alumni.”

The band’s invitation to the Rose Bowl Parade has alumni from around the country getting involved and coming up with new ways to help raise money for the students.

“I am at the point in my life where I really want to participate, help others, and give back,” said 1996 ASU alumnus, Patrick Wilkerson.

Wilkerson, along with Anthony Black, Class of 2000, and Stacy Graham, Class of 1998, created the “Golden Ram Group,” a Facebook group with more than 1,000 ASU alumni who range in from the 1990s to the 2000s. The open group shares posts of ASU news stories and upcoming events, and also highlights recent alumni accomplishments and opportunities to give to the university.

“Social media is the major platform for communication for our generation now,” said Wilkerson. “Through social media, we are able to get responses instantaneously,” added Wilkerson. “Young alums talk, communicate and convene through social media.”

Last month, the Golden Ram Group hosted the 2015 Rams Reunion in Atlanta. At the reunion, which included a meet-and-greet, a cookout, and an all-white party. More than $2,000 from the reunion was presented to the university to help get the band to Pasadena.

“We all are getting older, the alumni association is working hard, but there is only so much they can do,” Wilkerson said. “The younger generations of ASU alumni . . .  have to step up and give.”

To promote the Rams in the Roses campaign, the university recently launched a crowd-funding site “GoFundMe” on social media, with a goal of raising $50,000 by Sept.1. The #RamsintheRoses hashtag is also active on such social media sites as Facebook, Instagram, and twitter to promote the campaign and provide opportunities to donate.

 “We are proud of our alumni and we are thankful for their support because giving begins at home, but this is Georgia’s band participating in the Rose Parade. We are calling on all sectors of the community statewide to support ASU, asking everyone to support this effort. ” said Andrew Floyd, director of development. “After all, this is Georgia’s band.”

Decuir added that with the Rams in the Roses campaign now in full swing, we need all ASU supporters to give, especially the alumni. “We can only go so far as the alumni will support us. We set a goal to go to the Rose Bowl and now we need alumni to help us get there.”

To donate to the “Rams in the Roses and Beyond” campaign, visit giveto.asurams.edu. orhttp://www.gofundme.com/RamsintheRoses .

Photo1: (from left) Michal Decuir, Jean Lynn, and Cynthia Bobb, Columbus Alumni Chapter check presentation to the band. Photo 2: (from left) Patrick Wilkerson, Michael Decuir, and Anthony Black present check for Rams in the Roses.