MHS band fundraising begins

Between $24,000 needed for new uniforms and the high costs of band camp, performances and equipment, the Marietta High School band is reaching out to the community for needed support with a variety of fundraising activities.

The 100 plus-member band is trying to purchase uniforms to replace the current 20-year-old jackets for the Wall of Sound, a big expense for the MHS Band Boosters in addition to individual students paying for band camp, shoes and more.

Seven different fundraisers will be held throughout spring that anyone in the community can support, with proceeds going into the boosters’ general funds as well as individual student band bank accounts.

“We have a lot of other costs to fund other aspects of the band, and once you add (uniforms) to the mix, it’s tough, and with all that we really need the extra money,” said Randy Lisk, president of the MHS Band Boosters.

Lisk said the group hopes to spread the word about the fundraisers, as there are plenty of alumni, parents and community members whom he thinks are willing to provide support.

“There are a lot of great kids and they really try to excel and represent the community the best they can,” he said. “We have a well-known program throughout the state and it’s nice to be able to help the kids much as we can.”

Beginning April 1 and running until the 25th, band members are selling Yankee Candles, with 40 percent of the proceeds going into the student’s individual band bank account.

On May 2, the band’s third annual Wall of Sound Fundraising Dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Marietta Shrine Club at $25 a person with full catering and entertainment.

“It’s always a big social event and everyone always has a lot of fun,” said Suzan Warner, vice president of the Band Boosters. “There are band parents and alumni and people from the community, and it’s growing every year.”

Going on now until April 23 is the band’s Hanging Flower Basket Sale, where $5 from each $16 or $17 basket sold will go into student accounts.

New this year to help pay for uniforms, Wendy’s Community Day on April 28 from 4 to 8 p.m. is another chance for the community to support the band by just eating at the Muskingum or Pike Street locations. A portion of all sales will go toward the band boosters.

Also for the spring, the band will hold its seventh annual Sweet Jazz concert on May 5 in the MHS Cafeteria. Tickets are $5 per person and patrons can enjoy music, desserts and a basket raffle.

“The community can help invest in these kids to get them to camp or purchase other needed items,” Warner said. “As long as students are willing to do the work, it’s not as much of a financial burden on the parents.”

Cost for band camp at Cedar Lake over the summer is about $275, an expense that students and families pay themselves and through fundraising. The price for camp keeps increasing, and band parents said the students need all the help they can get.

Christine Lisk, a band booster member, said though every extracurricular program receives some money to run from the school, the money can only go so far.

“It’s not near enough to take care of what we need to do to keep the band going,” she said.

Fundraising will continue into early summer in the form of more partnerships with local eateries to provide portions of sales to the band’s general fund.

“It’s a lot of work, and you have to put a lot of effort into fundraising,” said Tyler Palmer, 16, a sophomore on the band’s drum line. “But I’m excited to get the new uniforms.”