deland high school marching bulldogs
I'M WITH THE BAND — The DeLand High School Marching Bulldogs perform songs in the stands Sept. 9 at DeLand High School's first home football game for its varsity team. The band comprises 185 members and is led by Director Monica Leimer.

The Marching Bulldogs were nominated by Gov. DeSantis to march in the U.S. capitol

The DeLand High School Marching Band was nominated by Gov. Ron DeSantis to represent Florida in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C., next year. Now they’ve got some fundraising to do to get there.

Each Memorial Day, bands from across the country are nominated by governors to march alongside military bands, veterans groups and floats in Washington, D.C. The 2023 Memorial Day parade will take place May 29, 2023.

The field trip was formally approved by the Volusia County School Board Sept. 13.

Bringing the 185-person marching band to D.C. won’t be cheap. With the cost for each student around $950, the school is raising money to make it happen. 

“To take the entire Marching Bulldogs will cost approximately $180,000,” Band Director Monica Leimer told The Beacon. “Our goal is to have ‘no Marching Bulldog left behind’ for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The band has started raising money online through the platform Instaraise. As of Sept. 15, the Marching Bulldogs have raised more than $21,000. 

“We are also currently selling ads in our concert program to local businesses,” Leimer added. “That fundraiser is ongoing through December 1.”

Like Leimer, DeLand High School Principal Dr. Melissa Carr said she’s ecstatic, but looking for support.

“We are asking the community to help our Marching Bulldogs get to D.C. to represent the great state of Florida,” she said.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a student, or purchasing an ad in the band’s concert program, can contact Leimer by email at The band’s Instaraise fundraiser can be accessed by clicking HERE. That fundraiser will continue until Sept. 26, but the band will accept donations after, too. To coordinate a donation after Sept. 26, contact Leimer directly by email at

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT — The DeLand High School Marching Bulldogs are hard at work even before the school year starts. Marching band performers are pictured here practicing their marching technique at this year’s band camp, which takes place during the weeks leading up to the start of the school year.


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