VANCOUVER, Wash. (1/12/09)--Columbia CU is helping the Evergreen High School band and color guard raise funds to pay for their trip to the presidential inauguration by challenging businesses and community members to make contributions. The $768.5 million asset, Vancouver, Wash.-based Columbia will match all donations up to $5,000. The challenge is open to donations made between now and Feb. 14. “This is a great opportunity for our area youth to be represented at this historic inauguration and we want all band members to be able to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Laurie Kusch, Columbia senior vice president of member services/chief ambassador, said in a press release. Fundraising efforts to date have come up short $25,000. The band needs that amount to send a 150-student contingent to Washington, D.C. Every band member has to pay $862 each for the five-day trip (The Columbian Jan. 7). “It’s so great that Columbia stepped up to help--they were the first to call me this morning,” said Connie Ewart, Evergreen High School band booster club president. “I’m positive that we’ll meet our goal!” Donations may be made to the Evergreen High School Booster Club using a secure connection through its website.