K-State band marches on thanks to donor's generosity

Ray Navarro with the marching band

Ray Navarro poses in front of marching band members who have benefitted from Ray's gifts to K-State.

Sometimes your purpose finds you.

Ray Navarro grew up in Manhattan in the purple shadow of Kansas State University. He attended local schools, got drafted and moved all the way to nearby Fort Riley. He built a local business. One day, Ray received a call from a former K-State marching band director inviting him to a meeting downtown. He learned how the outdated solid dark purple band uniforms were held together with safety pins. Ray was asked to give a gift to help purchase new band uniforms.

"That's how I got started — a small gift long ago that I've continued each year," Ray says. "Now, I feel like part of the band family. By helping K-State, I just feel purposeful!"

Ray's band-inspired giving now includes the Navarro Marching Band Percussion Leaders Scholarship, which financially helps student section leaders as they devote their time and energy to the Pride of Wildcat Land. Working with the KSU Foundation, Ray provides annual gifts — scholarships available today — and has created a plan that will build an endowment through a deferred gift.

"Ray Navarro has been an absolute 'savior' to many students in the K-State Drum Line over the years," says Dr. Frank Tracz, director of the K-State marching band. "His support and generosity has been the difference between staying in band and school, and dropping both for many of our students. Almost half of the kids in our marching band have to work part time which makes being in band very challenging. Ray's scholarship supports students financially while they support their university in spirit and character."

Want to know how you can become a purposeful partner with K-State and support students in your will planning? Visit us online at k-statelegacy.org or contact the Gift Planning team at 785-775-2000 or giftoptions@ksufoundation.org.