Bands to raise funds in double time for uniforms, equipment

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 8, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — While the life span of a marching band uniform is about seven or eight years, the West Bloomfield High School marching band has had to extend the use of its gear.

In order to purchase new uniforms and to replace decade-old percussion equipment, the band has launched an online fundraiser through the website Snap-Raise.

However, because uniforms alone cost roughly $50,000, Chad Mielens, director of bands, said they will have to raise the funds in steps.

Over the past year, they have set aside close to $10,000 from other fundraisers — restaurant nights, car washes, raffle ticket sales, etc. Through the crowdfunding site, the band is hoping to raise another $8,500.

“We’re in a position where we’ve already raised some money towards it, and it’s a continuation of a process that we’re hoping to accomplish as soon as we can,” Mielens said, adding that the total funds will be raised over a few years.

Students were asked to send out 20 emails to family and friends to ask for donations. The donation amounts are optional, and people can give as little or as much as they would like, Mielens said.

One student who has been strongly pushing the fundraiser is senior Brandon Crawford, of Orchard Lake. Crawford plays the synthesizer in the marching band.

“It’s been long overdue since we’ve gotten new uniforms, as well as percussion equipment. Those are much-needed improvements in the band that will just overall help the atmosphere and experience,” Crawford said.

The link has been posted on the band’s social media pages, and students have the capability of spreading the word through their personal social media accounts and through text messages, in addition to sending the emails, Crawford said.

“Any and all donations are greatly appreciated,” he said.

Mielens explained that the uniforms are important to the band’s image. The current uniforms are beginning to look “dated” and are running out of functional use. Because of the cost of uniforms, Mielens expects it’s going to take two or three more years until they can make the purchase. As for the percussion equipment, he said new equipment would give the band a better sound on the field.

“We’re trying to provide the best experience we can for the kids. The way they look and the equipment they can perform on, I think it’s vital to that experience,” he said.

To donate to the West Bloomfield High School marching band’s uniform and percussion equipment fundraiser, visit www.app.snap-raise.com/fundraisers/13289.

For more information about the West Bloomfield High School bands, visit www.wbbands.info.