West Marching Band raising money for uniforms

By Ryan Ottney

November 5, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

The Portsmouth West Band Boosters said they are still only halfway through their fundraiser to pay for new marching band uniforms, and they’re asking for help taking it the rest of the way.

Elizabeth Blevins, a member of the band boosters, said they actually purchased the new uniforms — 78 of them — last year for a total cost of about $35,000. Now, she said, they still need help paying for them.

“When we started before the 2012 season we were able to raise of the money that we needed, and then secure a bank loan for the other half so we could go ahead and start our season with new uniforms. We thought it was really important that those kids and those parents worked so hard to raise money that we go ahead and get the uniforms just as quickly as we could. Now we’re still raising money for the other half so that we can pay off that bank loan as quickly as we can,” Blevins said.

The boosters still need to raise about $18,000 to pay off their bank loan, Blevins said.

“The faster we can do that, the faster we can begin to invest money from our normal fundraising into things like new instruments, or other things. Our fundraising money is kind of tied up in new uniforms until these get paid off,” she said.

The old uniforms, Blevins said, were at least eight years old.

“That doesn’t seem like a long time, but in order to be able to get enough uniforms for as quickly as they wanted them, they went with a wash-and-wear, lower grade uniform and they didn’t last us as long. In addition to that, our primary reason for needing new uniforms was because we were growing our band,” she said.

The new uniforms are a higher grade wool that Blevins expects will last much longer.

“We’ve not only grown in size, but in the past few years the band has really excelled and this year we qualified for state by getting superior ratings in every single competition that we went to this season. Which is unprecedented for us. We go to the state competition Nov. 10 at the Dayton Welcome Center, and we’re looking forward to getting a superior rating there. And our students look fantastic,” Blevins said.

The boosters have sent out solicitations, asking for donations. A donation of the entire $18,000 would qualify the donor as a benefactor; while $5,000 makes them a gold sponsor, $1,000 a silver sponsor, $350 a uniform sponsor, and $100 a band fan. Donations can be mailed to West Band Boosters, P.O. Box 4, Friendship, Ohio, 45630. Donations can also be made with a debit or credit card by calling 740-285-0180.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.