Severe weather
9:21 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Community helps band director pick up pieces from tornado

COMO - It’s left the students of a rural Hopkins County school district heartbroken, but inspired. The fact that their band director, Jeremy Wofford, continues to make the nearly one hour drive to his Como classroom in the days and weeks after a tornado destroyed his family’s Royse City home.

“Obviously the whole band was devastated,” said Jace Sturgill, drum major at Como-Pickton High School. “Even the community was trying to donate things right off the bat. And during our band period, we were talking and we said that we need to do something drastic right now because he’s just done so much for our community and our school. There’s no way we’re going to be able to give it all back to him but we’re going to try and give as much as we can.”

The devastating tornado that hit the Royse City community was one of more than a dozen to erupt over the North Texas region on the afternoon of April 3. Fortunately, no one was killed. But hundreds of homes were damaged. Some beyond repair like the Wofford family's.

“The whole house was pretty much destroyed. The roof was torn off and the corners of the home were twisted to where the beams are unstable. The fire marshal said it would probably be best to build from the ground up. Most everything in the house was destroyed,” Sturgill said.

In an effort to help the Woffords to get back on their feet, a group of students and parents have collaborated to schedule the Como-Pickton Spring Festival for May 12. The hope is that local businesses are willing to donate objects associated with their office to the festival, which will minimize planning costs and in turn increase the Wofford donation pot from participants.

“If we were able to obtain advertisements free of charge, we would be able to help the Wofford family even more. It is a wonderful cause, because Mr. Wofford has given so much to our community and we are trying to give back as much as we can in light of recent events.”

The Saturday, May 12 event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pickton Community Center, will consist of carnival-like booths during the day and a jazz dinner that evening with a one-act performance. Event planners also hope to provide raffles, photo booths, and bounce houses. At 6 p.m., babysitting will be provided at the Pickton Tabernacle Baptist Church so that parents and youth, ages 14 and up may enjoy the evening entertainment.

Meal vouchers are $20 per couple and an additional $5 for babysitting costs.

Sturgill noted, “He’s [Mr. Wofford] received in extremely high regard. Again, he drives an hour to work each day just to teach at our school. And since he’s the only music director, he conducts the high school band, all the junior high bands, the jazz band and the choir.”

Those interested in purchasing a booth for the festival, making a donation or for more information can contact Jace Sturgill at jaceksturgill@gmail.com or 405-651-9673 or Eva Teer at 903-243-0016.