Before the girl’s basketball game on January 2, 2018, the Southeast Polk Pep Band was the recipient of a generous gift from the family of Merlin Gamble.
Merlin passed away on Saturday, July 29, 2017. He was an avid supporter of Southeast Polk athletics. This donation is unique because even though this family has a strong history in Southeast Polk Athletics, this donation was made to the band.  Merlin had a love for the Southeast Polk Pep Band and enjoyed watching them perform at the basketball games.
In honor of Merlin Gamble, his wife Kay and their children Kim Nelson, Karen Leighter, and Kristy Ira presented the Southeast Polk Pep Band with a hand-painted trombone.  The inscription on the bell reads “Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today.”  This trombone will be played this year by John Kleywegt, a student specifically chosen by the Gamble family. When John graduates he will choose the next student to play it, keeping Merlin’s love for the pep band alive.
The Gamble family thanks, Stoner Music in Ankeny for their generous donation of this trombone, Julie Borden for the custom painting, and their many friends for their contribution to his memorial which made this donation possible.