If the support rolls in, the Brownstown Central High School marching band and drill team will have new uniforms at the start of the 2020-21 school year.
The uniforms cost around $400 apiece, and due to the need to have various sizes to fit all students, the Brownstown Band Boosters plans to purchase 100 uniforms at a cost of $40,000. The cost goes up when the drill team uniforms are added in.
The booster organization has created the Brownstown Band Boosters Uniform Fund. It’s being administered by the Community Foundation of Jackson County, a 501(c)(3) organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.
Donations to the fund, which are tax-deductible, may be mailed to the foundation, P.O. Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274, or taken to the foundation’s office, 107 Community Drive, Seymour. Checks should be made payable to the foundation, and donors are asked to include BCHS Band Fund in the memo line.
Donations also may be made online at cfjacksoncounty.org and clicking on “Donate Now.” That will bring up a PayPal screen for making online donations. Donors are asked to send an email to [email protected] indicating that the PayPal payment should be directed to the BCHS Band Fund.
Individuals, businesses and organizations donating at least $400 will earn status as a Band of Braves sponsor. They will be recognized on the Brownstown Band Boosters Facebook page and in the concert programs for the Christmas, spring and end-of-the-year concerts next school year.
“Without using the fund, I do not have means of soliciting a business to make a donation because I don’t have a 501(c)(3),” said Richard Branaman, director of bands for Brownstown Central Community School Corp. “The Community Foundation will allow me to do that.”
During the Jan. 14 board of trustees meeting, a memorandum of understanding between the school corporation and the Community Foundation to establish the fund received unanimous approval. Superintendent Tim Taylor said it’s similar to what was done a few years ago for the turf football field.
Dan Davis, president and chief executive officer of the Community Foundation, said it’s a temporary fund, much like the Jackson County Canine Shelter Fund that also is administered by the foundation.
“Like the Jackson County Canine Shelter Fund, it’s a good opportunity for local residents, businesses and organizations to contribute to a worthwhile community project at a grassroots level,” Davis said.
“It could be a great way for a former member of the Band of Braves, whether they still live here in Jackson County or somewhere across the country, to give back for the good memories they have from their days of playing and marching with the band,” he said.
Donors will receive a gift acknowledgment letter from the foundation indicating the gift was made for charitable purposes.
Both the band and drill team uniforms are 27 years old. They are worn, threadbare and have lasted past their life expectancy.
A couple of years ago, Branaman said he began thinking about what could be done to purchase new band uniforms because he knew they would be expensive, and he researched designs online.
Last year, he met up with the designer of the current uniforms at a conference, and that man came up with a new design. It has three black arrows stitched into the front and three white arrows pinned on, and the Brave head is printed on the fabric on the upper sleeve on both sides.
“It will not fade. It won’t rub off. It’s there, very nice,” Branaman said of the Brave head.
The sleeves and pants both have adjustable snaps.
“Everybody is not built the same, so we can have more size variety, and you don’t have to stitch up all of the coats and pants like we do now,” Branaman said. “You fold them under, you snap them, you take an iron and press the sleeve and it looks great. The pants have the same thing with the pants leg, so you can have the longest pants and they will fit everyone and you don’t have to cut or sew to do all of that.”
The new hat will have a reflective Mylar on it with the BC logo.
The new uniforms will be much lighter weight and easier and about 25% cheaper to clean, Branaman said. The overlay on the current uniforms makes them heavier, but the new uniform would not have that.
Initially, Branaman said if payment was given in full upfront, there would be a 3% savings. The boosters, however, are willing to forgo that discount to get the uniforms ordered soon.
“If we order here in the next couple of weeks, they guarantee delivery for the start of marching band,” Branaman said. “We may go and put our 50% down and then move on to the other.”
He said the boosters have half of the money for the uniforms, but if he emptied that account now, he wouldn’t be able to purchase awards and provide other needs for the band.
Besides the fund, the band is raising money for uniforms by selling concessions at boys basketball games and track and field meets this year, and it also has a cookie dough fundraiser underway.
“The band boosters are all in for these uniforms,” Branaman said. “All of the money is going to that uniform fund until we get the uniforms. That means we pay push back. We do a trip every two years, and that trip may get pushed back. Sacrifices have to be made, but this is what we need. They are determined. We’re going to need a little help, but we’re going to get it. One way or the other, it’s going to happen.”
When the band gets pictures taken in early August, Branaman would like to see them wearing the new uniforms.
“I hope to be in them that day,” he said. “That is our goal.”
Drill team sponsor Angela Blann had a prototype for the squad’s new uniforms, but she’s in the process of tweaking that.
She said new uniforms definitely are needed.
“As far as I know, they are the same age (as the band uniforms),” Blann said. “I had to buy jackets for my girls to wear this season to get us by because we didn’t have enough or the right sizes. Plus, they were completely falling apart.”
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The Brownstown Band Boosters and Band of Braves are unifying for uniforms.
The booster organization is raising money to replace the 27-year-old band and drill team uniforms.
To have uniforms for every student who participates in band, the group has set a fundraising goal of $40,000 to purchase 100 uniforms.
Donations may be mailed to Brownstown Band Boosters Uniform Fund, c/o Community Foundation of Jackson County, P.O. Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274.
Donations, which are tax-deductible, also may be dropped off at the foundation’s office, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, or made online at cfjacksoncounty.org and clicking on "Donate Now."
Checks should be made payable to Community Foundation of Jackson County and include BCHS Band Fund in the memo line.
For information, contact Susan Raisor at 812-896-2069 or [email protected].