Some of the best friendships in life are formed in school, and there’s no denying that activities like team sports, school clubs, and extracurricular activities help strengthen those bonds. Marching Band is a great example of an activity that provides students the chance to participate in a large group of like-minded students who all have similar interests and goals. Some of my best friendships were forged in band.
The story of Brook Ravia and Cris Rasmussen’s son is a perfect example of the deep friendship that blossoms within the band family. Brook and Cris are members of the Lafayette High School Marching Band, but when they take the field, Brook isn’t carrying an instrument or spinning a flag.
She isn’t focused on making it to her spot on the form as the music ebbs and flows throughout the halftime show.
Brook’s best friend, Cris, is unable to march due to complications from Spina Bifida. He moves by wheelchair and you can find Brook right behind him making sure that he gets to enjoy the thrill of being part of the marching band’s halftime spectacle. She’s done so for the past three years.
Brook learns the routines and pushes Cris around the field as he plays his clarinet in the band. Cris’ mom, Pam, says, “Brook has given up her time and her spot in our show, in our football season, for the last three years so that she could push Cris (in his wheelchair) and have him be a part of the band, the marching band.”
Brook even took the time go to summer band camp and learn Cris’ routines when he wasn’t able to make it while he was in treatment, so he wouldn’t be behind when he was able to come back.
Cris and Brook have been friends since middle school and to show his gratitude he entered her name into a “Pay It Forward” segment that the local news station hosts each week. As his teachers and fellow band members watch, he gives Brook $500. The classroom erupts into cheers and laughter.
Brook doesn’t let challenges stop her from being there for Cris.
Brook says, “Even when we go off to different football games and they don’t even have an actual ramp he doesn’t let that stop him. We’ll just either go up the hill or get two or three bandmates to help push him up there.”
She says, “I think he’s an inspiration. Like, he’s wheelchair bound but he doesn’t let it stop him…”
Both students have a bright future ahead of them as they’ll eventually go their separate ways. Cris has been accepted into Middle Tennessee State’s Aviation program and Brook is planning to join the U.S. Army after graduation.