Roswell High School band and guard students are working to raise funds for their band program and give back to their local community on March 16.
Students will participate in the second annual MARCH fundraiser, which champions “Musicians Acting with Responsibility, Compassion, and Hard work”.
In its inaugural year, the students raised more than any other fundraiser in Roswell High School band history and contributed over 600-man hours to the community.
“The kids and the leaders worked so hard. I really appreciate the work and the woodland trail was totally completed on Saturday. I is a project I have been trying to get done for many years and to get it all done in a day is just incredible," said Smith Plantation Site Coordinator Chuck Douglas about 2018 efforts.
“Music is a universal language, and we all have a universal love for Roswell. The kids are our future leaders and a part of this community. We want to empower them through this community service project” said Roswell High School Band Boosters Co- President Michael Dal Cerro.
Roswell High School Marching Band Booster has set a 2019 goal of $30,000.
The students are aiming to raise a minimum of $400 each and will participate in the work day at sites around north Fulton.
According to Dal Cerro, the list of volunteer sites include, but are not limited to: Crabapple Middle School's Organic Garden, Vickery Creek; Waller Park, Fulton County Foster Care, Smith Plantation, Roswell North and Mimosa Elementary Schools.
The band program at Roswell and other local high schools, is only partially funded by the county.
"The lion’s share of the cost to operate the in-class band, marching band, competitions, color guard, indoor drum line, and any band trips falls to the parents and parent organized booster associations. This fundraiser is designed to empower the students to take ownership of their band program as well as connect in their community through service," said a news release.
M.A.R.C.H. is a fundraising idea that Roswell High School Band Boosters Co-President Mark Herring developed based on previous work.
“I borrowed the concept for this fundraiser from a high school ministry I used to work for in Barrington, Illinois. We would raise all the operational funds, apart from salaries, from a similar community service day. It became a fun tradition that the kids looked forward to every year and it helped instill a love of community for those students.” said Herring.
Fundraising in the past "generally featured a variety of product sales, including items such as cookies, candles, or popcorn," at the efforts of the parents.
"Not only are product-based fundraisers exhausting for parents and students, but once the product company is paid for the goods, there is little left for the band program," said the release.
According to Herring, "people are much more generous and willing to donate monies if nearly all of it goes to the program and students."
He described donors are "equally motivated by the fact that M.A.R.C.H. has an impact in the local community."
The students raise support for their work day by soliciting donations from friends, family and local businesses.
The money raised also garners incentives for the students, who have the potential to receive a "t-shirt, free food at the home football game, gift cards, season passes to Six Flags" as some of the tangible rewards for efforts, in addition to the benefit to the community.
“I was very happy with the outcome and appreciated everyone’s positive attitude throughout the day. It was a pleasure working with your school and I look forward to future events.” said Dave Thomas of the National Park Service.
To make a tax-deductible donation, text “RHSband” to 779-77 or go to https://pushpay.com/pay/roswellband?a=40&f=MARCH
Roswell High School Booster Association is a 501[c] charitable organization run by volunteers serving the students of the Roswell High School Band programs
More information is available by contacting Mark Herring at firstname.lastname@example.org.