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Fruit sale begins


Fresh fruit during the holiday season has been a tradition for years and there is perhaps no better way to start the season than by using this tradition to help others.

Farragut High School Band has begun its annual fruit sale fund-raiser and students will be knocking on your door through Nov. 19, in an effort to raise funds to offset their yearly band fees.

Beside concessions sales at The University of Tennessee football games, the fruit sale is the band’s only fund-raising event.

Ron Rodgers, FHS band director, said, “We decided 15 years ago that we were not going to nickel and dime the kids to death. We basically put all of our eggs in one basket, doing one large fund-raiser each year, which turned out to be the fruit sale. That way we would not have to come back to the kids and say ‘Okay now sell us some cheese or some sausage. Now how about some wrapping paper.’”


FHS Band has been selling fruit before the holidays for as long as Rodgers can remember.

“I inherited the fruit sale when I first got here. It was not as well organized — they were still doing quite well with it — but we had some parents who came in in the mid 1990s who turned this almost into an art form,” he said.

Although some proceeds from the sale go to benefit the band as a whole, much of the proceeds are used to offset student band fees.

“Our band fees are quite low in comparison to almost everyone around, but depending on the amount of fruit that is sold, the band boosters will pay for another portion of the students’ band fees. Out of a $340 band fee, if they sell X amount of fruit, they can have $200 of their band fees paid by the boosters.

“So you can actually be in our band here for $140 per year because of the way we do our fruit sale,” Rodgers said.

The sale kicks off each year with what the students call Blitz Day, on which band members divide the subdivisions in Farragut and go out en masse to sell fruit.

This year’s Blitz Day was Saturday, Nov. 1.

“We have the most current map available. In Farragut it seems there is a new subdivision every week, but we have the current map drawn into grids.

“As the teams come in, they will line up to try to claim some of the more lucrative, or some of the bigger ones,” Rodgers said.

Normally the students will leave a flyer on unanswered doors directing residents to call band boosters to place an order. This year the strategy is a little different thanks to a Web site, www.riversweetonline.com/farragutband, set up by band boosters. This year’s flyer will direct interested buyers to the Web site to make their purchase.

The fruit comes in two sizes — 20-pound boxes for $20 and 40-pound boxes for $28.

This year the band is selling Ruby Red grapefruit, navel oranges, juice oranges and tangelos.

A large mixed box also is available for $38.

“The mixed box, about ten pounds of each type of fruit,” Rodgers said.

“That is really one of our biggest sellers. We will sell probably over 1,000 to 1,200 boxes of mixed fruit,” he added.

The fruit will be delivered to the school Friday, Dec. 5, and parents and Booster Club members will unload the truck while the students are performing in the WIVK Santa Claus Parade downtown.

Band members will begin readying the fruit for delivery Saturday, Dec.6.

“We will meet that morning and start making the mixed boxes,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said the band makes the mixed boxes themselves in order to save money and be able to use more of the proceeds to go toward band fees.

To place an order visit www.riversweetonline.com/farragutband. Orders may be designated to a specific student using the Web site’s prompts.

 

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