With two days in the fundraising, Talladega College marching band got more than three times as much as it needs to get to Washington, D. C., for President-elect ‘Donald Trump’ s inauguration celebrations next week.
The historically black college in Alabama need to raise $75,000 for travel, accommodation and other costs. Through a GoFundMe page, more than 4,700 people have donated $280,000 and counting in nine days.
The donations begin to flow soon after Talladega College President Billy Hawkins appeared on “The O’reilly Factor on FOX News on Thursday. Before the appearance, the band had raised only $57,000.
HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE: BAND WILL MARCH IN THE INAUGURATION
Talladega College, which traces from the beginning to 1865, when two former slaves set up a school for the children of their community, announced earlier this month it had accepted the invitation of the Presidential Inauguration Committee.
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At the time, Hawkins called it a learning experience for his students outside of the classroom.
“As many of those who have chosen to take part in the parade have said, we feel the inauguration of a new president is not a political event but a civil ceremony celebrating the transfer of power,” he said in a statement.
On Thursday, Hawkins said that he has received, under heavy pressure from the alumni, who said that he had “the college” and that he was “a disgrace” for African-Americans.
“It’s pretty annoying,” he added.
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But in the face of the barrage of criticism, Hawkins steadfast in his decision.
“It’s about the students the opportunity to take part in this national stage, in this inaugural ceremony,” he told host Bill O’reilly. “It’s a civics ceremony. It is not about politics.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.