LEHMAN TWP. — It’s a good thing the 32nd annual Back Mountain Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show and Flea Market held Aug. 21 wasn’t the only fundraiser the Lake-Lehman Junior-Senior High School band will hold this year.
Heavy rains put quite the damper on the event, which was held at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds.
Normally, there are close to 100 vehicles and motorcycles and a large variety of vendors that participate in the event, but due to the weather, only about 45 vehicles — sans motorcycles — were part of the show, and just two vendors braved the weather. Not long after arriving, the second vendor was spotted packing up rain-soaked merchandise and leaving.
Prizes were given to winners of 27 classes, some of which included muscle cars, stock cars and trucks. David Schweizer, a member of the Lake-Lehman Band Sponsors, said one participant drove over 145 miles to attend the event.
The band holds a number of fundraisers throughout the year, said percussion player Zack Zaleskas, 17. The car show usually brings in about $4,000, but he said the band’s overall fundraising efforts net roughly $15,000 to $20,000 yearly.
“The fundraisers help pay for things like new instruments, new uniforms, instructors’ fees, medical supplies and trips to competitions,” Zaleskas said. The band participates in four to six competitions each year, but the largest — and most important — is the Atlantic Coast Championship, held in Hershey. This year’s ACC competition is Nov. 6. “The band won the championship in its division in 2007,” he added.
“They warm up at every football game,” said Lake-Lehman Band Sponsors President Dusty Titus. She said the extra performances along with the smaller competitions prepare the band for the ACC. “They’ve been highly successful.”
Zaleskas, a senior, plans to major in genetic engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology next year. He has been involved with the band since he was in third grade, lugging equipment onto the fields, and helping out with fundraisers.
“Most of the band members are honor students,” he pointed out.
In the 1980s, the number of students in the band was at an all-time high, with over 200 members. There are currently 25 students in the band and four in the color guard. “We are seeing growth in the past years due to our new director, Cheryl Kulikoswki,” said Zaleskas.