MCHS Band competing on Internet for uniform funds

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From staff reports

Marshall County High School Marching Band members, friends and family had participated in an Internet contest so much by Monday afternoon that their cause ranked eighth out of all contestants in the corporate contest.

They've sold: fruit; car washes; butter braid bread, for which we've got people waiting; and refreshments at the concession stand during home football games, MCHS Band Boosters treasurer Jenny Jones said to put this latest effort into perspective.

"We're on a project that we think will give us our $25,000," Jones said of the Pepsi Refresh Project. "We're refreshing our band."

This fall, she was searching the Internet for ideas on how to raise money and found the contest. Band director Alex Sears submitted an application by the Nov. 5 deadline. The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

"We just got word Dec. 1 that we were selected" for the competition, Jones said, explaining that friends of the band who want to participate may "Go to where you sign up on the site and follow the instructions. In the search block, I typed in Marshall County and it brought it right up."

Directions are provided on the Web site, she said.

"It's like what Cornersville did with Rack Room shoes to get computers for their classroom," the boosters' treasurer said. "You vote online. You register every e-mail address you have and vote that many. And you can text in votes."

Sears explained why new uniforms are needed. The old uniforms: must be dry cleaned; have a design with too much black and not enough of the school's colors; were not maintained - some are torn, some white areas can't be cleaned; and the band has so many more musicians that there aren't enough uniforms.

The band needs somewhat more than $25,000, but appears to be in the running for a top prize of $50,000 awarded to only the top 10 in the contest.

The "$25,000 plus change," Jones said, "is a lot of money, but we're talking about nearly $350 per uniform and we've got to buy a minimum of 70, but that's not going to cover it because our band is growing.

"Currently, we have 53 in the marching band," she said. "There are some in the band who are Lewisburg Middle School students and we have more middle schoolers who will be joining the band.

Asked how many other groups are participating, Jones replied, "There are a lot. I don't know how many we are competing against, but they have different categories. The 15 top vote getters in the MCHS Band's category (competing for $25,000) will get money. There will be an award for the top 10 in the $50,000 category."

There are two other categories: One pays $10,000; the other pays $5,000, she said. Matching money is not required.