MASON — When the Wahama White Falcon Marching Band made a down payment on new uniforms, the boosters had no way of knowing a pandemic would halt their fundraising efforts.
With the next payment looming, one former class from the school is issuing a challenge to other classes to help meet the need, according to Sally Ross of Mason.
Ross said her Class of 1970 was due to celebrate its 50th reunion in May. She said even though the reunion will more than likely be cancelled, the class members wanted to sponsor a $650 uniform. And, they are challenging all other former classes to do the same.
The band is hoping to have the new uniforms by fall competition season, and a $10,000 down payment was made the first of the year on the $41,000 total. The present uniforms are at least 16 years old.
The boosters were counting on a large influx of funding coming from a benefit bingo that was scheduled March 14, according to booster member Courtney Weaver. But then COVID-19 hit, and the bingo had to be cancelled. The next payment of $13,000 is due in July, and the till remains short, she said.
“So far, we have $6,500 in full sponsorships plus various smaller donations,” Weaver said. “If we can pull off our bingo, we will be able to make the $13,000 payment. But, if we are unable to do bingo until fall, it would cause issue with our second payment.”
A number of others have also sponsored full uniforms, including Sowers and Company, Mark Porter Autogroup, American Legion Post 140, Superior Auto Body, Main Street Furniture in honor of Connor Ingles, Rick and Tanya Handley, Sandra Gibbs Morris in honor of band director Matthew Bradley, Fairview Bible Church, and one in memory of Ralph Stewart Class of 1957.
The boosters remain appreciative of those who have contributed.
“I am so excited and happy to see how the community is helping with sponsoring uniforms for the band,” said April Lloyd, booster president. “Everyone is so excited to see the band receive new uniforms and know how proud the band students will feel wearing them.”
She continued, “We are still far from reaching our set goal of sponsors and funding for them, so it is very crucial and important that we raise enough to make the remainder of the payments, especially since we are not able to hold fundraisers right now.”
Ross said the Class of 1970 donation was made in honor and in memory of the 13 class members who served in the band. They include Parkanna Kelly Wood, Kathy Fields Sigman, Pam Roush Simpkins, Terry Foreman, Raymond Duncan, Mike Jones, Gail Miller Davenport, Angie Fields Vance, Brenda Fields Brown, the late Teresa Ferguson Titus, the late Cheryl Burns, the late Jackie Needs Raban, and the late Marilyn Gibbs Pierce.
Anyone wanting to sponsor a uniform, or make a donation, can contact Lloyd at 304-593-0952.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.