Thursday's cold weather couldn't keep Bay High School's Million Dollar Marching Band from putting the finishing touches on their Orange Bowl performances. Just one day before leaving for Miami, they were still hard at work.
"It's a good experience that not all highschools would get to do so I'm really thankful for this," said Million Dollar Dancer Kiera Butler.
"Extreme honor. Definitely the biggest crowd I've ever even been in front of," added Drummer Aaron Grubbs.
Excitement aside, getting to the Orange Bowl wasn't something that happened overnight. The band close to 200 in size, has spent pretty much every waking moment since August fundraising. Everything from selling onions to a performance by Donovan and Rebecca from NBC's America's Got Talent, they pulled out all the stops.
"All the kids work hard and then they show up on their Christmas break to give me two great rehersals," said Million Dollar Band Director Nick Efstathiou.
Each student had to pay more than $900 for the trip, and that's a lot of money for anybody, but for some it was especially difficult. Senior clarinet player Savannah Hearon said it's been a difficult year.
"I'm a one income family, so everything that we have goes to just staying in as a family," Hearon told NewsChannel 7.
But she said she couldn't miss out on one of her last memorable opportunites in high school.
"I had to make sure I had a job, make sure I had the hours, and just do all the fundraising, all that we could," Hearon said.
And Efstathiou told NewsChannel 7 told NewsChannel 7 Hearon's go-to attitude isn't something out of the ordinary, rather a glimpse of the entire band's character, just one reason he said has helped make this year's Orange Bowl trip a reality.
"This band is unlike any other band I've worked with," said Efstathiou.
Stay tuned to NewsChannel 7 Today as well as wjhg.com and facebook.com/news7 for exclusive daily updates on the band's trip.