MEIGS COUNTY — Whether they’re sweating under the summer sun during band camp or lighting up the field at halftime, members of the Meigs Marauder Marching Band are no strangers to dedication and hard work … and that same drive carries on long after graduation.
A recently formed group known as the Meigs Band Alumni Boosters has been hard at work holding fundraisers and collecting donations to help fund the building of a permanent concession stand for the Meigs Band Boosters at the new Farmers Bank Stadium and Holzer Field.
Under the leadership of President Karla Brown, Secretary Teresa Brown and Treasurer Des Jeffers, the group of former marching Marauders is on their way, but still need help and support from other alumni and community members. According to Karla Brown, the cost for a concession stand for the band is expected to be around $20,000, and so far, according to Jeffers, the group has raised a little over $3,500.
“We have a long way to go and need all the help we can get,” Brown said. “We had hoped the band would have a stand this fall, but without a great deal of help, that won’t happen.”
Brown said the group first came about following a conversation on Facebook concerning the band and the new football stadium. Following the construction of the new facilities, there was a need for stands for the band to sit during football games, which were later purchased by the school board Brown said. Brown also said the band was going to be borrowing a mobile trailer to sell concessions since there wasn’t a permanent stand for the band built with the new stadium. Brown asked other band alumni if there was interest in helping raise money to build a permanent stand and the group set their first meeting.
While the regular band boosters are still active, Brown said most of that money funds the band’s regular expenses including instrument and uniform repair and maintenance, purchasing new instruments, music for marching and concert seasons, as well as band camp expenses which includes feeding the band members three meals a day. Brown added that the band also takes a trip every four years, this year being to Washington D.C., and a great deal of the regular boosters’ fundraising has been geared toward that trip. Brown also said the band boosters are saving as much money as they can for the concession stand, there isn’t much left following all of these other expenses.
In addition to the band booster’s booth at the Meigs County Fair, the concession booth at home football games is also a major source of income for the band.
“Every season without the stand is a season the band is losing money,” Brown said. “We can’t stress enough how urgent the need is.”
According to Brown, the alumni group began with a basket giveaway at the 2012 homecoming football game containing several donated items from the members of the group, in addition to other items from local businesses and community members. The group also sold t-shirts, some of which Brown said are still available.
Following these fundraisers, the group worked on an event called the “Festival of Trees.” Meigs Band Alumni Julie Howard spoke on the success of this event, saying it included games, face painting, a Chinese auction, a cake walk, bingo, as well as an appearance and photo-op from Mr. and Mrs. Claus and concessions provided by the regular band boosters.
However, as the name implies, the main event of the “Festival of Trees” was an auction of several hand decorated trees, wreaths and mantel pieces. Howard said a total of three large trees, six wreaths, around five or six mini trees and one mantel decoration were auctioned off and the evening’s festivities brought in around $1,400 for the group’s cause. Howard added there are already plans for the event to continue next year, with a date set for Friday, Dec. 6.
Brown said the group doesn’t have anything set for their next fundraiser yet, but the group has been throwing around several ideas including a Bingo fundraiser and a corn hole tournament in the spring. Brown also said the group was told that Elvis Impersonator Dwight Icenhower was interested in holding a concert to help with the group’s efforts as well, but nothing is set.
For other marching band alumni or any other individual interested in helping with this cause, the Meigs Band Alumni Boosters’ next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Middleport Church of Christ Family Life Center. The group also has a Facebook page titled “Meigs Alumni Band and Friends.”