Donate to the MDS Band in Honor of Flint Dollar
Organized by: Annie Blanks
*Please note: every penny of the donations received from this fundraiser will be deposited into a private bank account set up specifically for this campaign, separate from the school, and only accessible by the band students and future band director for the purchase of the uniforms they desparately want and need. None of the money goes to the school or the diocese.
Flint Dollar, beloved band director and music instructor for the past 4 years at Mount de Sales Academy, a Catholic middle and high school in Macon, GA, was fired on Wednesday, May 21 after disclosing plans to marry his partner of 6 years in Minnesota this summer. School and Diocese officials said the reason for his dismissal was solely because of his marriage, which goes against the official Catholic stance on same-sex marriage. Despite public outrage, national media attention, and a petition with 2,500+ signatures, the school has thus far remained firm on its decision and will not allow Mr. Dollar to continue being an educator at MDS. Father Allan J. McDonald and Bishop Gregory Hartmayer are thought to be the masterminds behind his dismissal, with Father McDonald claiming that "no matter how competent they are in their subject matter, no matter how nice they are no matter what a good role model they are", anyone who pursues a same-sex marriage must not be allowed to be a teacher in a Catholic school.
In order to try and make something positive come out of this horrible situation, I came up with the idea to launch a fundraiser for Mr. Dollar and his fiancé's wedding ceremony and honeymoon; however, when I approached Mr. Dollar about this plan, he had a different idea. In lieu of wedding gifts to him and his fiancé, he asked that people make donations to the Band of Mount de Sales Academy. He explained to me that he and the band have been relentlessly fundraising all year to earn $28,000 for new uniforms, a goal they hoped to accomplished in two years, but in only 7 short months they raised $23,000. $5,000 short of their goal, Mr. Dollar was fired, leaving his students feeling "defeated and unheard". In addition, funding for the band and music departments will be cut by about 25% in the coming school year, along with several other departments. He is heartbroken that he will not be able to be there this coming year to help his students achieve their goal.
His love for his students and passion for their music education is greater than the hate, discrimination, and judgement he has faced. Instead of using this as an opportunity to raise money for his own wedding, he wants to raise money so that the students whose education he has fostered over the past 4 years will be able to continue exploring their love of music in his absence. His selflessness is both humbling and heroic at the same time. Despite what Father McDonald and Bishop Hartmayer may believe, this man is the true embodiment of Christianity.
So, I ask that anyone willing to take a stand against the immense injustice that has taken place here will consider donating to the MDS Band in honor of Mr. Dollar. Doing so will not only be the single ray of hope in the lives of the students he has been forced to leave behind, but will send a message, loud and clear, to certain school and Diocesan officials that we refuse to tolerate their policy of outright discrimination.
Even though their hate is big, our love is bigger.