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High school bands seek funding
Keeping a high school band operating at its full potential is not cheap.

Doug Haymans, president of the Brunswick High School Band Booster Club, said an average year's expenses for the band can total more than $12,000.

With system wide budget cuts taking their toll and removing funding for marching and concert band activities, Haymans said fundraising efforts have been ramped up in recent years.

Money raised by the booster club goes to everything from cleaning marching band uniforms to paying instructors who come in for band camps during the summer.

This school year's goals will be a little easier to meet, Haymans said. Last year, the Brunswick High marching band traveled to Washington, D.C. to march in the 100th annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. To help pay for students to make the trip, the boosters raised almost $50,000.

"We won't be making a trip like that again this year," Haymans said. "That is a once every three or four years kind of thing."

To raise the roughly $12,000 needed this year for field trips, camps and travel to an occasional road football game, Haymans said the club will rely on traditional fundraisers like selling discount dining cards.

The two high school bands traveled to all out-of-town football games until recent years, after the school system stopped providing funding for school bus transportation and other expenses.

Brunswick High band boosters hope to find other funding sources, including operating the concession stand at home football games, which could provide a steady stream of income.

Matt Hayes, president of the Glynn Academy Band Boosters, said getting creative helps when thinking of new fundraisers.

"We want to explore every fundraising opportunity we can," Hayes said.

Glynn Academy uses many of the same traditional fundraisers as Brunswick High. Annual events like the Christmas sale of poinsettias and discount dining cards keep the band going and help raise the money needed to enable the band director to focus on teaching students music.

"Through those, we are able to get by," Hayes said.

Like Brunswick High, Glynn Academy also has a lighter fundraising load this year than it did in 2011, when the band made a trip to play a concert in New York City.

"It's not easy, but we had some success last year," Hayes said. "I am anticipating we will have success this year. We just want to make sure the kids have a good opportunity."

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