Lil Wranglers raising funds to participate in inaugural parade

Posted at 11:23 AM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 17:38:10-05

The Lil Wranglers are one of two Central Texas organizations traveling to Washington, D.C., to participate in president-elect Donald Trump's inaugural parade. 

Sharon Toups founded the Lil and Elite Wranglers 17 years ago, but this is the first time she's ever applied for the group to participate in an inaugural parade.

"I can't believe that we were chosen it was such a long shot," Toups said. "I got emotional because it means a lot to me that my kids will be able to be seen on a national stage like that at such a historic event."

Gunnar Coker and Allie Flenner are two of the Wranglers who plan to perform at the incoming-president's parade. The kids said they are very excited.

"I've lived in College Station my whole life I didn't think it would be possible for me to do something this big," Coker said. "I'm ecstatic I can't wait I'm counting down the days until we leave... I just can't wait to be there," he added.

"It took me a little bit to think about it, but then I was like, 'wait, I'm going to the inaugural parade'...I'm really excited," Flenner said. "I think that we would do really well and that people will like us a lot."

Although Toups and the kids said they're beyond excited, she said she's also a little worried because the trip is not free, so the group is raising funds to help them make it to D.C.

"The trip is all on us and so we have to pay for them to get there," Toups said. "it is expensive and it's hard on these kids to have to come up with the money to get there."

Sixty Wranglers and staff members are going on the trip, and Toups said it's going to cost at least $1,500 per person to go - for a total of more than $90,000.

"We hope that the community will help us and get behind us," she said. "They want to do a good job because they know they're representing Texas and all of us here in Bryan and College Station."

Toups said they've only raised less than $20,000 of the $90,000 they need to raise before leaving for the inaugural parade. She said people interested in helping the team can donate in three ways: by making a contribution to their GoFund Me Page; by mailing in a donation to their physical address; or by purchasing a commemorative Lil Wrangler Inaugural Parade t-shirts.

The group hope to have all of the funds raised by Jan.15th, which is the day they are scheduled to head out to attend the parade. 

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