BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Thanks to a local business owner’s generous donation, five high school marching bands in Jefferson County are starting the new school year with brand new instruments.
Mike Cohen owns Mike’s Fine Jewelry and Pawn Shop. He teamed up with Bethel Baptist Church for the donation, and band members received their instruments Thursday. This act of kindness will help several of the local high school marching bands as they get ready for the upcoming season.
60 brand new instruments were donated. A.H. Parker High School band director Marvin Griffin said he’s overwhelmed by the generous gift.
“When I came here and saw the stuff was still in boxes, brand new, I was more than appreciative. I almost broke into tears again. It’s a blessing,” Griffin said.
Cohen is retiring soon. He said he wanted to thank the community who supported him and his business for the last 57 years.
“Appreciate the people that have given to me these 57 years in Birmingham, in downtown. It’s made me what I am right now,” Cohen said.
Griffin says the donation will be a blessing for his band for years to come.
“We’ll buy an instrument and keep the instrument for maybe 15 years so when new equipment comes we got to take it graciously,” Griffin said.
Griffin said band members will use the new instruments during the upcoming football season. Their first game is set for Aug. 19 against Fairfield High School.