Worthington High School band raises funds for Cuero trip

“We’re down there to represent Worthington and hopefully, build some relationships for the future."

092521 N DG 2021 Luverne's Tri-State Band Festival S15.jpg
Students from Worthington High School march down West Main St. in the Tri-State Band Festival Saturday in Luverne. (Tim Middagh / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — As Paycheck and Ruby Begonia prepare for the 50th annual Great Gobbler Gallop turkey race this year, the “Spirit of Worthington” Trojan Marching Band is preparing too — for a trip to Cuero, Texas, to take part in Turkeyfest 2022.

“The idea was to send our band down there, and then their band will come here in the next couple of years,” said Mike Thompson, director of bands at Worthington High School.

The trip is set for Oct. 5-9, and as the total cost is estimated at around $70,000, students have already begun fundraising.

The cost may seem high, but bringing a band of 150 people and all of their instruments, props and equipment 1,100-plus miles is a difficult feat of logistics. Sousaphones, a full drum line and 150-plus instruments take up a lot of space, and that’s without students and their suitcases.

It will take four buses and a semi-trailer, plus careful packing and a lot of patience.


“We’re down there to represent Worthington and hopefully, build some relationships for the future,” Thompson said.

The details of the trip are still in the planning stages, but very little time will be set aside for tourism. Students will spend part of a day in San Antonio and then head to Cuero to meet the band. They will perform with the Cuero band, attend Turkeyfest — the Texan counterpart to King Turkey Day — and march in their parade. They will also get to watch the turkey race and spend time getting to know the band students from Cuero High School.

Some of the music for show has been chosen — Bruce Springsteen and music from “In the Heights” are involved — but Thompson didn’t want to give away the whole program yet.

Much fundraising is yet to be done. So far, Thompson has spoken with several local organizations asking for donations, including the Eagles, the Optimists, and the Elks, all in conjunction and cooperation with the King Turkey Day Board of Directors.

Students have also begun fundraising efforts, selling items in an individual fundraiser that just ended, and continuing to work hard to raise money at the concession stand at band events.

Thompson is still brainstorming ideas for future fundraisers, and has worked to keep costs down to remove financial barriers for students.

“It’s worth it to try to give every kid this opportunity, because the next time it happens is likely going to be 50 years from now,” he said. “This is kind of a once in a generation thing.”

He emphasized that any donations would help because every bit is going to the students and getting them down there.


Anyone may donate by sending a check to Worthington High School with a clear note about what the money is for. Anyone interested in making a larger donation should email Thompson at


A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

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