String band overcomes adversity for big day

December 27, 2007 9:09:56 PM PST
The Mummers are gearing up for their New Year's day strut, and one group has had overcome a huge obstacle to get there.

The Greater Kensington String Band practiced coordinating those swanky swings with that swinging sound on Thursday night.

"Tonight is last minute steps, cleaning up our steps, music and hopefully by Sunday we'll be ready to hit Broad Street," said band leader Michael Kavchok.

But a fire that ripped through the group's storage in building last October impeded getting ready this year.

"It really did set us back. This is a one day a year parade and we spend a lot of time putting this together, so it was nine months work lost," said Scott Fisher.

The fire not only put the band in a time crunch to get ready, but it also put the band in a money crunch. The cost of replacing all the props and supplies lost in the fire was 10 to 15 thousand dollars -- money the group just didn't have.

"The cost is just unbelievable. With all these floods and stuff, the cost of wood to replace all these props just doubled in price," said Jim Morrison.

But the camaraderie of the group was strong enough to overcome the consequences of the fire. When they weren't practicing, the members of Greater Kensington were organizing fundraisers and donating their own time and money to replace what was lost.

"The community support was amazing. The other bands also donated stuff to us," said Kavchok.

And so come New Year's day, the Greater Kensington String Band will strut up Broad Street once again.