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Rich South High School Marching Band deserves a gold medal for its Olympic fundraising effort despite falling short.
Only 21 of the band's 109 members will head to London to play during the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. The school raised $35,000 of the $300,000 it hoped to send the whole band to the games.
The school's marching band director, Y.L. Douglas, told the Sun-Times it hurt him that the entire band can't go but said he understands the financial challenges.
The school divided up the $35,000 between the students, and those who raised $2,500 for their individual trip could go. Twenty-one achieved that goal.
They will perform at the opening ceremony, a festival honoring the birthday of Bob Marley and two other events.
Trumpeter and Rich South Junior Elijah Scott-Christmas called the experience "magnificent" and told the paper he's never had an opportunity to do something so rare.