The Mercer Island Band Booster Club members played host to Tournament of Roses President Richard Jackson and First Lady Sharon Jackson last week aboard "Mollie" — a custom 73-foot yacht — on a Lake Washington cruise.
Mercer Island is Jackson's third visit of 21 villages, towns and cities around the globe who have pledged to send a marching band to take part on the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 2, 2012. It is estimated that travel costs for the trip from Seattle to Pasadena, which bands or band members must pay, is $1,500 per person.
The boat, skippered by owner Sam LeClercq, embarked from the and circumnavigated the Island and paused briefly near the lakefront estates of Microsoft high-tech executives Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates off the Medina shoreline.
Local retailers also made several in-kind donations for the visit, including (who provided roses and flowers for boutoniers), Coffee and restaurant (who provided a catered lunch).
The Mercer Island Marching Band performed once before in the parade, taking part in 2006.