Talladega College Marching Tornado Band fundraiser tops $672K

Talladega College MarchingTornado Band -Screenshot from NBC News

The controversy over the Talladega College Marching Tornado Band appearance at President Donald Trump’s inauguration parade has turned into one of the single greatest fundraising  efforts ever for the school, according to the college’s president Billy Hawkins.

As of Sunday evening, January 22nd, the GoFundMe page had raised $672,703. The original goal was to raise $75,000.  How did they do it?

The college’s president, Billy C. Hawkins, appeared Thursday Jan. 12th on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, describing how their choice to play in the inauguration had been criticized.  Donations from the show’s mostly  conservative audience poured in.

The band, which had raised about $50,000 on its GoFundMe page before Mr. Hawkins’s appearance on Fox, received more than $333K the day after the show, Friday Jan. 13th.

According to a quote from Mr. Hawkins for The New York Times;

Some alumni have come at me pretty hard; they don’t want the band to participate and say I am a disgrace to my race,” Mr. Hawkins told host Bill O’Reilly. But this is about the students having an opportunity to participate in this national ceremony.

On Saturday, Hawkins told the Anniston Star that the band could potentially meet President Trump on Sunday.  No meetings have been confirmed.

Here is the Marching Tornadoes’ performance in front of the President and his family on Friday evening.

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.