Greetings from the Osage Education Foundation. The purpose of my letter is to present a small fund raising challenge. As some or most of you know, the summer band program, which introduces incoming fifth graders to their band instrument every June, was dropped from the Osage school budget in 2011.

Since that time, Don and Virginia Whitcomb and their daughters have funded the program because of their strong belief in the value of music for our students.

A study listed by the I’ll Fly Away Foundation ( states 96 percent of school principals feel a music program motivates students to stay in school.

Unfortunately, due to the current low interest rate environment and the terms of the endowment put in place by the Whitcomb family, there is a $1,866 shortfall of funds available for the OEF to use to pay the summer band lesson instructor.

While Don and Virginia Whitcomb are no longer with us, their daughters have issued a challenge to the Osage community to cover this shortfall.

They will match $1 for every dollar you give to the Osage Education Foundation, earmarked for the summer band program.

You may mail your donation to the OEF at P. O. Box 82, Osage, IA 50461 OR drop it off at the Home Trust and Savings Bank in Osage.

There will be 35 incoming fifth graders without summer band if we are not successful.

Our high school band earned a Division I rating at State Large Group Festival for the 50th year in a row in 2016; and that foundation is built starting with the fifth grade summer band lessons.

Please support this challenge. I would love to report at our Distinguished Alumni Awards event on June 17 that the summer band program is alive and well.

Thank you.

Brad Havig, President

Osage, Iowa