The Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster Award recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support, and sacrifice of music parents and boosters across the nation by shining a spotlight on a recipient who exemplifies these qualities.
The award is named in honor of Patrick John Hughes, the father of Patrick Henry Hughes. Patrick Henry is a remarkable young man who, despite physical challenges that would seem overwhelming to many, has excelled as a musician and student, singing and playing piano and trumpet with the Louisville Marching and Pep Bands, with the help of his father, who tirelessly maneuvers his son’s wheelchair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band.
On Friday night during the Grand National Championships, the 2019 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to Ann Leever of North H.S., NE.
Ann Leever grew up with a love of music she got from her parents. In high school, she had an amazing band director – Gary Davis – who gave her a deep appreciation for the marching arts, as well as music overall. Leever’s parents showed her the importance of volunteering by being presidents of the band boosters during her high school years.
Fast forward – now she’s the band parent! Leever started working with the Millard North Band Boosters in 2007 when her son was a freshman. She was secretary of the boosters 2008-2009 and in 2010 she became president of the band boosters for a year.
In 2012, her daughter joined the Millard North band, and Mr. Ryan Placek became the head band director. Craig Mathis joined him as assistant band director a year later. Listening to their vision for the band program, Leever wanted to help in any way she could, so in 2013 she again became president of the band boosters. Leever remained president until her daughter graduated in 2016.
Once her daughter graduated, Leever could see how far Mr. Placek and Mr. Mathis had brought the band program, but she knew they still had more to do, and she wanted to help the band keep growing. Since Lever couldn’t hold an elected office, she offered to help with fund raising, as she knew the band had considerable needs (and still does).
Why does Leever continue to help the MN band? Because the Millard North Band is a family, a huge wonderful, all inclusive family. She believes the band directors are second to none, the kids are the best, and she wants those kids to have a great high school band experience like she had.
How does she continue to help the MN band? By raising funds in any way possible. Here are some of the things she does with the band:
- March-A-Thon – We parade through neighborhoods, playing “lawn concerts” for residents for a donation to the band. (Leever’s favorite fundraiser.)
- Working Baseball Concessions
- Hosting the State Marching Competition
- Building shipping boxes for Omaha Steaks
- Mattress Fundraiser
- The “200+ Family Garage Sale”
- Big Band Dance and Silent Auction
- Getting band “sponsors” who are thanked by putting their logos on the back of the show shirts.
- Omaha Gives – A 24-hr, city wide day of donating money to over 900 different non-profits.
Leever gets to work with amazing band parents/boosters on all these projects. She has made many life long friends through the Millard North Band, and she hopes to have many years of volunteering ahead of her.