GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina company is getting results for a Gaston County high school. A classroom full of eager students received a gift that will sound very sweet for years to come thanks to a music loving CEO.
“I’m trying not to cry but I’m beyond excited,” said Heaven Watson-Weary, the band director at Hunter Huss High School.
Watson-Weary watched Wednesday afternoon as the National Pawn team unloaded instruments.
“It all goes back to when I was in the 7th grade,” said Bob Moulton, the founder of National Pawn. Moulton wanted to play an instrument but it was expensive. The company wanted $25 a month to rent an instrument. He remembers his mom finding a gently loved instrument at a yard sale for $15.
“I decided that we had access to all of these instruments through our normal course of business that we would donate them to underprivileged kids,” said Moulton.
“The kids have no idea,” said Watson-Weary. She told them they would be playing for dignitaries in the district.
The students smiled and were surprised by more than 100 instruments on the table and a big check for $2,000.
“I was shocked walking in,” said Raven Anderson, a senior with the marching band.
“I have been here my entire high school career and so far we haven’t had anything new,” said Caleb McCraw-Guyer with the Marching Huskies.
The timing of this gift is perfect. Watson-Weary says so far this school year she and her students have had to get creative to make repairs to instruments that are falling apart.
“We’ve been doing car washes and fundraisers trying to raise money for instruments and repairs and uniforms and all of those things are expensive,” said Watson-Weary.
Moulton doesn’t want the cost of an instrument to keep any child from enjoying music. “As much as we do a year we are only scratching the surface,” said Moulton. He hopes this encourages people to donate their old instruments or Moulton said he will buy them so he can donate them to schools.
The students couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new instruments. They picked them up and some even started playing.
“Nothing in this world is free but if you work hard and do what you’re supposed to do and I mean the right thing at the right time then good things will happen for you,” said Watson-Weary.
The biggest takeaway Moulton hopes the students get?
“We always challenge them to pay it forward and do something kind for someone in the future,” said Moulton.
This is the third donation to a Gaston County School from National Pawn. Schools in eight other counties are receiving similar donations this year. Since 2010 the company has donated more than 3,800 instruments and $68,000 in cash to 25 public performing arts programs in North Carolina.