Fresh off the heels of the successful musical fundraiser featuring a Franki Valli and the Four Seasons tribute band that benefited the newly reconstituted high school marching band, and the Holiday in the Village extravaganza in which he presided over the giving away of more than 100 bicycles and toys, Sawyer Motors owner Bob Siracusano approached the Saugerties School Board Dec. 8 with a proposal.
He said he’d like to bring Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., winner of “America’s Got Talent” in 2011, to perform at the high school next November, and make a fall fundraiser to benefit Saugerties schools an annual event. Next year’s event wouldn’t benefit the marching band; its cause would be up to the board to decide, said Siracusano.
Trustee Krista Barringer asked if students could be involved in the planning and organizing, saying it would be a great educational opportunity. Siracusano agreed that this would be a possibility. “I’m going to need help,” he said.
Around $30,000 was raised as a result of the Nov. 21 performance, more than had been anticipated. Superintendent Seth Turner said band director Bernhard Spirig was worried he wouldn’t be able to do justice to the amount raised. Trustee Krista Barringer, who is also the parent of a band member, said she too was amazed at the total.
Siracusano said he hopes to raise even more money at future events, joking that while there might have been only two unsold tickets at the 2015 event, next year every seat, even those two, would be filled.
He received kudos from the board. Trustee George Heidcamp reminisced about growing up with Siracusano, and thanked him for always doing “the max” on projects in which he is involved. Trustee Florence Hyatt said the community would gain from his fundraising efforts. Superintendent Turner echoed that appreciation, saying the money raised went to a “very worthwhile cause” that would “pay dividends to the community.”
The faculty, staff and students present in the audience also acknowledged his efforts, giving him a standing ovation following his presentation.