Here are some important upcoming events for the SHHS Band:
Parade rehearsal will be November 17th from 3-4:30 pm. This is required for all band members even if they are not marching with us in Chicago – we will learn how to march in the parade block and will serve as the practice for our own JC parade as well. We will load the equipment truck after the rehearsal with all wind and percussion instruments, excluding flutes and clarinets, as well as the guard flags.
Other important dates:
- November 17 – Parade rehearsal, 3-4:30 pm
- November 18-23 – Chicago!
- December 1st – chair placement for ensembles – major scales – major test grade
- December 6 – Fruit pick-up/JC Christmas parade
- December 12 – Winter Concert, 7 pm
Those of you who have been part of the SHHS Band Boosters for the past couple of seasons have been part of many discussions about student accounts. We’ve dealt with issues centered around fund-raising, specifically those that put money directly into student accounts to cover individual band costs. We have struggled to find a clear understanding of what the issues are, sought sound advice on becoming compliant with the IRS and have made policy changes. We now understand the issues fully and need to make further changes to our fund-raising policy.
The attached letter outlines the issues and policy changes we will implement as a result. I invite you to read that attachment now.
As this band season began, the Board was preparing to roll out a change which would have placed our fund-raising into two categories: Booster sponsored drives with proceeds returning to Booster general funds and rebate programs which allow parents to direct their rebates into fund accounts for their student’s band expenses. Kroger was the only program which qualified as a rebate program. However in the past 10 days we have learned that Kroger is replacing their rebate program with one which doesn’t designate any contribution by student. (Please see the post below Kroger Cares is now Kroger Community Rewards). So now the Kroger program is effectively the former, conventional group fund-raising.
So where does that leave us? As we move forward all funds we earn will be returned to the Boosters’ accounts — concessions, dinners, fruit sales and even Kroger rewards will be treated the same. It’s certainly not as helpful to us as parents of band students with individual obligations to cover costs but in order to be compliant with tax laws, we have no option. The natural tendency as parents might be to throw up our hands in frustration and back off of our efforts to raise money for the band. However in the end it will cost parents more if Booster fund-raising falters. We’ll either be left with more costs to be borne by students or the band simply does with less.
The best response for us is to:
- Make the most of our most successful group fund raiser. That is of course football concessions. We are fortunate that we have the encouragement and cooperation of the athletic department which wants us to be successful and helps us in every practical way. We need to take full advantage by being able to offer the widest range of products at as many events and concession stands as we can. After all, last year concessions accounted for about 60% of our revenue.
- Dial our other fund-raising up a notch. I’m happy to report that we have a team working on the fruit sales for this year, already exploring some new ways to sell to a broader customer base. We’ll need more of that kind of thinking for our upcoming pancake breakfast as well.
- Develop new fund raising sources. The bulk of our fund raising is normally completed by Christmas time. Let’s work on some ideas that raise money during the second half of the year. There are a lot of creative people among our band booster members. If you have ideas, come talk to me about them.
The good news is that our peer band programs have dealt with the same fund-raising issues and are still thriving. We are fortunate to live in a city, which in my opinion, is eager to support quality community programs such as Science Hill Topper Band. That’s not so in many towns. I’m confident that we can adjust to our new fund-raising paradigm and keep the Science Hill Band Boosters going and growing.
If you have questions or suggestions, please bring them to the Band Boosters meeting this coming Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 PM in the new cafeteria.
President, SHHS Band Boosters
Change in Student Account (Charms) Policy – 2014-09-01