Buying new uniforms for the band will cost $64,000.
By VIRGINIA ROSS
NORTH LIMA -- Having more than one-third of the student body at South Range High School enrolled in the band next year is not a bad thing, but it can be challenging.
Especially when it comes to outfitting those students. Of the nearly 400 students at the high school in Beaver Township, 154 have signed up for the 2005-06 Raider band. But this past year, the band was short 45 uniforms. And many of the uniforms they do have are worn, torn and stained, with missing buttons and broken zippers.
Band director Jeff DiCesare said some students have had to tape or pin their uniforms together.
He said drummers have worn sweat suits because of the uniform shortage.
"The uniforms we have are old and worn and beyond repair and they need [to be] replaced," he said. "And we need more of them."
DiCesare said that the average life of a band uniform is eight to 10 years. The band's current uniforms were bought 14 years ago with donations from the public.
150 uniforms needed
A fund-raising committee, formed last year after the decision was made to buy new uniforms, is hoping to raise enough money to buy 150 new uniforms.
But at $430 per uniform, a total of $64,000 is needed to buy 150 new suits.
The committee has raised about $25,000 through various events.
Recently, the South Range Schools Foundation donated $15,000. Also, there will be a drawing May 25 for a motorized scooter donated by parent Julie Lindquist. Raffle tickets for the scooter are $5 and sold at the high school. Other fund-raising activities are being considered.
"We have a real need here and we'll take any donation, anything we can get from anyone willing to give something," DiCesare said.
"We have terrific kids who are doing a great job. ... They deserve to be wearing decent uniforms."
The band has been recognized for its excellence numerous times and recently earned a superior ranking at the Dixie Classic Festival band competition in Virginia Beach.
Donations, which are tax-deductible, can be made by sending a check or money order, payable to the SR Music Boosters, to the South Range Band Booster Uniform Fund, 11836 South Ave., North Lima, Ohio, 44452.