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FHS Band to update look


Farragut High School Band will begin its new season with a new look, and it could use your help.

The band is buying new uniforms, pictured left, for the first time in 15 years, at a cost of $55,000. With a total yearly contribution from Knox County Schools of $750 for operational costs only, that leaves the entire cost of the uniforms to be raised by FHS Band Boosters.


The band is buying new uniforms, pictured left, for the first time in 15 years, at a cost of $55,000. With a total yearly contribution from Knox County Schools of $750 for operational costs only, that leaves the entire cost of the uniforms to be raised by FHS Band Boosters.

FHS band director Ron Rogers said, “This is the first time that we have bought uniforms since 1992. The average life expectancy of a band uniform is about 10 years. But we have taken extremely good care of the uniforms that we have.

“The uniforms we had were still very wearable but they were starting to look a little bit dated. I was afraid going to contests and stuff that judges might have gotten a preconception of how we were going to perform by how our uniforms looked, so we decided we were going to go to the uniform business again,” he added.

“We sat down and took various catalogs and pulled off probably five or six different uniforms that we liked and we pulled out the best things from each of them and put together a drawing that we could live with utilizing school colors. Nothing very trendy, because if it is trendy then in three years we are going to have to be buying uniforms again and we are not in that kind of business.

“So it’s something that will be comfortable for the kids and something they will be very proud of,” he added.

Last year band boosters were offered a fund-raising deal with Neyland Stadium they could not refuse, and one in which Farragut fans of The University of Tennessee Volunteers use to send their money back home to FHS.

Tina Heath, FHS Band Boosters president, said, “Last year U-T outsourced their concessions and the subcontractor to the company who won the contract [Nick Botta] was looking for volunteers because that is the way he runs his business. He looks for community organizations to be his labor and then gives them a cut of the profit to work the carts. Last year we did not only Neyland Stadium but all the Thompson-Boling events as well.”

The boosters receive 10 percent of the net profit of everything they sell.

Botta supplies volunteers with approximately 25 carts filled with frozen lemonade and ice cream bars.

“They are the only carts that are selling the frozen lemonade and the ice cream bars. These are carts that are placed throughout the stadium on all three levels. There are about 6 or 7 on each level. They usually have an umbrella over them and they will say Minute Maid or Hagen Dazs,” Heath said.

The concessions fund-raiser has been a very lucrative partnership.

“This has been something where we can raise money and we are not selling stuff to ourselves or our neighbors and relatives, we just go work at the ballgame,” Heath said.

“We made the decision not to try any other fund-raisers because we want everyone to concentrate on this one.

“Other than our fruit sale, this is our only fund-raiser,” she added.

Both Heath and Rogers are excited about this year’s cart sales because the endeavor is much more organized than last year.

“Last year we got started late when Nick called me and so everybody was just trying to get to the game, which you can imagine was a headache trying to get everybody there and pay parking.

“This year we are getting a school bus and Nick is paying half the cost of the bus.

“The school bus will pick all the volunteers up at the school, take them down and drop them off at the stadium and then bring us all back home after the game. We are going to take that cost out of our profits just so we can get people down there easier and hopefully get more volunteers because they do not have to deal with the traffic.

“We need at least two people for each cart. Plus we would like to sell in the stands, so we would like to have three per cart there, so that is 50 to 60 people minimum that we need,” Heath said.

“Nick has been wonderful to work with. You just never know when someone comes out of the woodwork and offers to help you raise money. Nick does all the stocking of the carts and all we have to do is show up and sell. He has people that he hires to keep the carts stocked during the game and collect the money and all that,” she added.

Rogers estimates that through this fund-raising effort the band uniforms should be completely paid for by the middle of UT’s football season.

“My band boosters here at Farragut High School are the most amazing people you will ever meet. When we started talking about band uniforms their eyes just lit up. They immediately started looking for a way to do this,” he said.

So this football season when you are sitting in the stands at Neyland Stadium dig deep, enjoy some frozen lemonade and ice cream and know that your money is going to support your Farragut Admirals.

 

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