Man creates trailer for school district

 Vehicle transports equipment for fine arts program

By Dan Cherry
The Daily Telegram (Adrian)

ADRIAN, Mich. (AP) — A heart for the Adrian Public Schools fine arts program and a little elbow grease resulted in a project that any school district would be proud of.

Jeff Caris recently customized an equipment-hauling trailer for the district’s fine arts programs, particularly the band. The trailer boasts a hinged, movable wall, floodlights for loading and unloading at night, and shelving.

Caris told The Daily Telegram of Adrian that the idea for the customized trailer came when his now-graduated daughter was in band.

“They took off for band camp four years ago with an overloaded truck, and I said, ‘Hey,?I have a trailer we can take,’ “ Caris said. He gave the school the use of an old construction trailer to haul equipment to football games, camps and the like.

After seeing another school with a trailer a few years ago at the Clinton Fall Festival, “I said, ‘Boy, it’d be nice if we had one of our own.’ “

With the support of the community and the school’s fine arts director, Julianne Dolan, a fundraiser was started in February to purchase a 28-foot-long trailer from Brown’s Trailers Inc. in Clinton.

The $7,755 custom-built trailer was ready in early July, and has already been used for several events.

Caris said he was pleased that the start-to-finish process of obtaining the trailer was less than eight months.

“It’s what happens when you have a good, solid team to work with,” he said.

Dolan said Caris brought the idea of a customized trailer to the music boosters as a forward-thinking project.

“He was thinking about the future, and a lot of people were really appreciative of the fact that it’s about our band that serves our community in many ways,” Dolan said.

From parades to concert performances, having a vehicle to safely and comfortably transport equipment offsite is beneficial to the district.

“This has eliminated a lot of those barriers” that come up when attempting to transport equipment and uniforms on a school bus shared with the students themselves.

The trailer, named “Adrian Arts on the Move,"?is representative of the many different departments at the school that use it.

Most of the interior work and exterior graphics were done at cost, and Caris had to officially donate the trailer to the school for it to become the district’s property.

Caris said he is grateful to Dolan “for the amount of trust given me to do what I needed to do.”

“It’s a labor of love; a good project,” he said. It will last them 20 years or more, Caris said.


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