Warren band boosters hold annual arts and crafts fair

VINCENT – More than 1,000 lovers of arts and crafts filled Warren High School for the 35th annual arts and crafts fair organized by the band boosters Saturday.

“We hopped in the car to see what is left of the fall foliage and saw there was an arts and crafts show going on and thought it would be something else to do,” said Erin Shouse of Columbus.

Shouse and her husband Robert had no idea of the craft show when they decided to take a drive through southeastern Ohio Saturday and noticed signs for the event.

“I’m glad we came in because I love craft shows, and when we pulled into the parking lot and saw people carrying large things to their cars, I knew it was a great show,” Erin Shouse said. “This is awesome.”

Robert Shouse smiled as his wife paid the admission fee.

“We might have found this by accident this year, but we will be back next year,” he said.

Organizers said this year’s fair, which filled the gymnasium, small gymnasium and most of the school’s hallways, was the busiest in recent history.

“Everything is going really great,” said band director Courtney Clark. “I keep hearing complaints of how crowded the halls and gym are, which is good to hear.”

Boosters member Heather Sammons said while the 148 vendors is about average for the event, the number of people who paid $3 per adult and $1 per child had risen.

“We don’t take a head count, but we have been swamped all day,” Sammons said. “I hope that means we raised a lot of money.”

Funds collected during the event come from the admission fees as well as food and baked goods sold by the band and choral boosters, country store and crafter booth fees. All proceeds go to the band, which is primarily booster-funded.

“Last year we came close to $18,000, which was awesome, so we hope to come close to that this year,” Clark said.

Each year the boosters hope to raise $10,000 with their biggest fundraiser to help fund everything the band does throughout the year.

“Right now we are concentrating on going to Nationals later this month, but the money we raise here is used all year and for everything,” Clark said.

The Bands of America Grand Nationals Championships are held in Indianapolis, Ind., each year and will be Nov. 13 through 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Warren High School band will join about 90 other marching bands from around the country to show their skills.

Money left from this fundraiser after the weekend-long away trip will go to pay for necessary items, such as drum heads and mallets, as well as travel for the bands to attend away football games, competitions and parades.

“People don’t realize the band has to pay for every bus and gas we use, even school buses,” Clark said. “We are very appreciative of the support we get from this fair.”

The final number on amount raise was not available at press time.