Fairmount Secondary School’s marching band is appealing to the community for help after its new uniforms were stolen from the school’s premises. The theft occurred about two weeks ago. Although a few items have been recovered, the majority is still missing.The marching band is the reigning champions of the Western Province Marching Band Association. Roy Prinsloo, a teacher at the school, says the marching band is the pride of the school and the heart of the poverty-stricken community“The band’s success has meant so much for the community.“Sadly, they will be unable to compete without their uniforms.”Prinsloo says the learners march for transformation, academic excellence and to bring about change in Grassy Park. The band’s establishment has brought about a marked change for the better in the community, school and learners. “The community has adopted the marching band. They often ask them to march at weddings and even funerals,” says Prinsloo. The school also encourages and empowers other schools in the area to start their own marching bands. “We visit other schools to show them what our marching band can do. Our instructors then go out to the schools to train their learners,” says Prinsloo. Nick Smit, another teacher at the school, says the band consists of about 35 learners from Grade 8 to 12. “The band empowers the learners and gives them a sense of pride,” says Smit. Smit says the school needs urgent assistance from the community or local businesses because the band will be competing in a competition in a few weeks’ time. Nicole Richards, one of the marching band members, says she felt sad after their uniforms were stolen. “We can’t do anything without our uniforms, and they represent the school.”Richards says the marching band is important for the school and community because it keeps the children off the streets and out of trouble. She says they have practiced without the uniforms since they were stolen but that it just doesn’t feel the same. “What gave them the right to steal our uniforms?” she asks. Terence Klassen, principal at Fairmount Secondary School, says the marching band has changed learners’ lives for the better. “The marching band improved their attitude, discipline and behaviour,” he says. Klassen says he also sees a difference in the way the learners carry themselves. “This is more than just a marching band. Suddenly the learners believe they can achieve things in life,” he says. He says, what’s more, the marching band has had a positive affect on the community’s morale. The school is also appealing to former learners to come on board and to contribute anything they can.If anyone can assist the school’s marching band, call the school on 021 705 1826 or Nick Smit on 068 060 2456.