Fleming Island band already marching to raise money for next year’s shows

By Lee Wardlaw lee@claytodayonline.com
Posted 1/18/23

FLEMING ISLAND – The Fleming Island High Golden Eagle Band may have just recently closed the book on fairytale season, but the musicians who will return next year already are busy with fundraising …

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Fleming Island band already marching to raise money for next year’s shows

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – The Fleming Island High Golden Eagle Band may have just recently closed the book on fairytale season, but the musicians who will return next year already are busy with fundraising projects.

The school finished third last November at the Florida Marching Band Championship in Fort Lauderdale and the group then traveled to England to march in the New Year’s Day parade in London.

To pay for its ambitious schedule, the band, fondly referred to as Eagle Band One, now will have an increased funding arm from the Friends of EBO heading into the 2023-24 school year.

The nonprofit was launched in 2021 with one simple goal in mind: to help offset student costs for uniforms, instruments and other expensive costs required to participate.

The tools needed to perform at the highest level are not cheap. Students often must pay to play, which oftentimes means the parents or students are forced to foot the bill.

For example, the cost for the London trip was $90,000, which took 11 months to raise.

Band is an expensive endeavor and funding the competitive activity has become increasingly challenging for families. Band fees cover 25% of total expenses, with concessions only taking care of another 10%.

“We’re really looking to fill that gap with sponsorships from corporations and small businesses,” said Gina Blume, coordinator of the EBO Sponsorship Committee.

To help set aside costs for those that want to compete in the award-winning group, Friends of EBO began accepting tax-deductible donations in 2022.

After a podium finish at the state championship competition and an unforgettable experience in London, the Eagle Band One now is focusing on future projects.

That’s why all funds to the nonprofit will be allocated toward the band for the next academic year and will be collected from now until Aug. 1.

Five levels of sponsorship packages exist for corporate sponsor candidates and others seeking to donate.

For $250, an Eaglet will be guaranteed inclusion in the EBO directory of 2023-24 supporters.

For $700, an Eagle will be included in the directory as well as being provided two regular season football passes.

$1,200-level sponsors will reap all Eagle benefits along with seeing their businesses’ logo ordained at the football stadium concession stand.

Soaring Eagles who donate $2,800 or more reap all Eagle rewards while also receiving a special announcement through the stadium’s public address system during Eagle Band One halftime performances.

Eagle sponsors can also add a feather, meaning that donors can further their advertising efforts via social media, if they so choose.

Three sets of advertising packages allow participating sponsors to reach thousands of potential new clients on social media by featuring their brand’s logo.

One month of advertising will cost $150, full regular season advertising will cost $300, and an entire year comes out to $700.

The EBO’s top five wishlist items include uniforms, drums, sound systems, concert tubas and concert chimes.

To provide a snapshot of the exorbitant expenses of maintaining a fully-functional competitive band, a full set of traditional uniforms are available at the price tag of $60,000. Drums are $5,000; sound systems range between $15,000-20,000; and 10 tubas cost between $6,000-8,000 each. Concert chimes cost $10,000.

In the meantime, the clock is fastly-ticking for the competitive group as they soon prepare for another shot at the state championship.

In the colder months, the Winter Guard, an indoor version of Color Guard, and Velocity, another competitive band program, are in action.

Summer camp and the regular season will be back in full swing sooner than expected. Practice begins in May. Shortly after, in August, the stars will align for the Eagles to take another shot at the elusive state crown.

In the meantime, the dedicated nonprofit will be hard at work to determine the right partners to bring on board for a big upcoming season.

To reach out to the Eagle Band One Sponsorship Committee, please contact Blume at outsidetheboxNJ@gmail.com or at (609) 721-1515. You may also reach out to band directors Mara Rose at Mara.Rose@MyOneClay.net or Alexander Buck at Alexander.Buck@MyOneClay.net.

Please make checks payable to Friends of EBO and mail to: Fleming Island High School C/O, FlHS Band, 2233 Village Square Parkway, Fleming Island, FL 32003. 

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