By MORGAN MANNS
Fostoria High School Redmen Pride Marching Band will be performing during the 2014 AutoZone Liberty Bowl halftime show in Memphis in December.
In an effort to raise funds for this upcoming trip, band members will host a series of fundraisers throughout the summer and into the 2014-2015 academic school year.
The band’s eighth fundraiser for the trip, a mattress sale, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Fostoria Junior/Senior High School, 1001 Park Ave., in the school’s band room, located on the east side of the building.
The cost of the trip is roughly $700 per student, topping more than $40,000 total for the 64 total students and chaperones, according to Steve Kauffman, Redmen Pride Band director.
“We’re trying to give the kids as many chances as we can to earn their way down there,” he said. “We’re very excited and expect all good things from the experience and from our students.”
Creative Fundraising Services will be selling new brand-name mattresses at a discounted price, as well as other bedding items. According to Kauffman, prices range from $199 for a twin set to $2,000 for a king size set.
Customers will have the option of delivery for a small fee. The warehouse is located in Marblehead for those wishing to pick up their items. More information will be available during the fundraiser.
Students will receive a percentage of sales dependent on the number of items sold.
According to Deb Rock, Redmen Music Club president, the band will continue to put out the Redmen Music Club Potty. When placed in the yard of a residence or a business, the owner or company must pay $10 to remove the toilet from their yard, $15 to remove it and place in the yard of their choosing, or $20 to remove it, place it in the yard of their choosing and never receive it again.
The band is currently in the process of readying another toilet decorated in red and black, according to Rock.
“We wanted different things because everybody sells candles, candy, and those types of things,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love candles. What we’re looking for is cute ideas that spark the interest of community members.”
The band sold over 500 geraniums and roughly 108 hanging baskets as part of a fundraiser, as well as wrapped gifts for a donation from K-Mart, had a Butter Braids sale and a Mixed Bag Designs sale.
In the fall, the band will again be selling totes, purses, hampers, backpacks, and other bags from Mixed Bag Designs. Rock said the sale will end in time for everything to be in by Christmas.
Also in the fall, the band hopes to be selling mums.
Throughout the summer, Rock said the band will be hosting several car washes, bake sales and garage sales; however, no dates have been finalized. They will be continuously selling coupon books for Pizza Palace and Field of Dreams Drive-In Movies in Tiffin.
“I love what we do for these kids and we will do whatever we have to to make sure they get to the Liberty Bowl,” she said. “I hope to see the public take more interest in our kids to get them there.”
Kauffman said he has received “very little information” on the trip from those spearheading the Liberty Bowl. The date in which the events are scheduled and the performing artist have not yet been announced, which makes it difficult for the band to thoroughly prepare.
They will leave Fostoria early in the morning on a date yet to be determined, and will spend four days and three nights in Memphis, performing, competing and participating in a variety of tourist endeavors.
The game matches up teams from the SEC and the Big 12 Conferences and is broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The Liberty Bowl Halftime features marching bands and dance teams from across the country.
Roughly eight high school marching bands from all over the United States will perform, according to Kauffman. Before they join the other bands, the Redmen Pride Marching Band must first compete with them.
On day two of their trip, the band will compete in a Field Show Competition, in which they will play three songs of the director’s choosing and will be judged on their performance.
“We don’t get a lot of chances to interact with people from different places to see what the differences and similarities are,” Kauffman said. “I think it’s very important to get them out of town and to get good feedback from critics and judges, not just locally but nationally. It’s a chance to get more recognition for our school, our town and our program.”
The band will play the same songs during the Beale Street Parade on day three. They will then attend a dinner, dance and awards ceremony later that evening where their scores from their competition will be announced.
Kauffman said the songs played during competition and the parade will be selected at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year as to include the incoming freshmen on the choice.
In their downtime, the group has a variety of activities scheduled, including a Graceland Platinum Tour, the Liberty Bowl Rodeo, sightseeing, shopping and meals at various restaurants throughout the area.
After the Bowl game, the band will attend a New Year’s Eve Party. This will be their last activity before returning for Fostoria.
According to Kauffman, the community has donated approximately $5,000 thus far towards the trip, not including the money raised from fundraising events.
“(The community) really came through for us when we were getting new uniforms. We know they support us and we hope they can get behind us to give all the kids the opportunity to go to the Liberty Bowl,” Kauffman said. “Essentially we’re not just going for ourselves but for our school and for our town too. This will put a positive face on Fostoria and they will represent us well in Memphis.”
For more information on fundraising events or the Liberty Bowl trip, contact Rock at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kauffman at email@example.com.