GENEVA – After 17 years of use, Geneva High School marching band uniforms have been altered, repaired and patched to the point of no return, Geneva Music Boosters vice president Kara Fenne said.
So boosters began a Sponsor-A-Uniform campaign this fall, seeking specific donations for full uniforms – parts of uniforms or just cash – hoping to buy 160 marching band uniforms, 155 tuxedos and 95 dresses for concerts.
The cost for all is about $113,000, organizers said.
“Right now, students use marching band uniforms for their concert uniforms,” boosters president Suzan Farley said. “The wind symphony and symphonic bands and [percussion methods] wear the marching uniforms, and concert band wears their own white shirts and black pants.”
The purchase will allow the band students to wear uniforms consistent with other high school music programs, boosters say.
Dorothy Lash, who is heading up the uniform campaign, said there are 120 students in marching band, but a larger uniform inventory is required because multiple sizes will be needed.
Support is coming in, Lash said.
“Various people bought different things,” Lash said. “Some just give $20 and say, ‘Use it for what you want.’ The majority have been purchasing full marching band uniforms. We’ve had donations up to $750 for a marching band uniform and then some.”
The goal is to have new uniforms for the next school year, Lash said.
“An ideal world is, if possible, to raise money to make a February order. It takes a lot of time to have them all made,” Lash said. “We have a long way to go. This is a big concentrated effort. ... There is a huge range of giving, but it all comes together at the end.”
Fenne said the new uniforms will be better than the old ones for several reasons.
The new ones will be easily adjustable with snaps inside the sleeves and pants to change the lengths without having to do annual alterations by hand, and the new styles will make it easier to fit a wide range of student sizes.
The new uniforms will be made of a more breathable fabric, so students won’t get so warm if they are marching on a hot day, Fenne said.
“Many of the old uniforms are beyond altering,” Fenne said. “They get a lot of wear and tear. ... Up close, they look bad. If you’re watching them on the field, you might not think much of it, but not if you get up close.”
In addition to seeking donations for the uniforms, the boosters are hosting an ornament sale featuring a Geneva Viking as a one-man band, orchestra and choir person.
The ornaments will cost $10 at local 7-Eleven stores at 621 W. State St. and 1105 Randall Court, and at Fox Jewelers, 307 W. State St., Fenne said.
To help the Sponsor-A-Uniform campaign, checks should be made out to Geneva Band Boosters and sent to Geneva High School, 416 McKinley Ave., Geneva, IL 60134, donations are tax-deductible:
For marching band:
• Complete uniform - $530
• Coat - $220
• Bib pants - $100
• Hat, plume, box - $81
• Cape - $76
• Front sash - $53
For concert band:
• Complete tuxedo - $113
• Tuxedo coat - $67
• Tuxedo trousers - $34
• Bow tie, cummerbund - $12
• Dress - $85
More information is available by contacting Dorothy Lash at 630-208-9042 or firstname.lastname@example.org.