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FHS band’s holiday fruit sale raises $28k

Farragut High School band members raised $28,000 through their annual holiday fruit sale.

The annual fruit sale brought in $55,000 in sales and $28,000 in profit that goes directly to the band. The band will allocate the money to travel costs going to and from competitions, including past travel expenses for football games, and the purchase and repair of instruments.

The Farragut High School Admirals Marching Band has been selected to perform at the February 2010 College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference.

The Symphonic Band will be traveling to The University of Mississippi in Oxford to perform. They are one of only five high school bands selected to perform at the prestigious conference.

Funds raised during the fruit sale make it possible for students to perform at the conference.

Jared Pearce, band member since middle school, participated so he can “continue in the tradition.”

“I help with the fundraiser to get some desperately needed things,” he said.

“The community is supportive and happy to get the fruit,” he added.

Students sold fruit to Farragut-area residents in what is the band’s single largest fundraiser of the year.

Lenoir City residents anticipate the fruit sale as well as Farragut area residents, Jeff Budge, FHS band booster president, said.

“We have lots of people call us about our fruit and the kids get excited because the community is excited,” Budge said.

Students unloaded fruit Friday, Dec. 4, from semi-trucks at Farragut Intermediate School’s cafeteria, in preparation for the distribution day, Saturday, Dec. 5.

Fruit-buyers from all over West Knox and Loudon counties came to pick up their boxes. Band members, parents, pit crew helpers and FHS teachers helped load the boxes into truck beds and car trunks.

“Kids got to drive the pallet jack. They enjoyed going up in the semi, they almost made a game out of [the work],” Budge said.

The 51 FHS band students “blitzed” Farragut subdivisions for sales Nov. 14.

The students sold Indian River fruit from Florida’s Riversweet Citrus. Prices ranged from $20 to $32 for a box.

This is the only door-to-door sales the band does.

Budge said he had found people loved the students as much as they loved the fruit.

Many generous buyers wrote checks to band students for more than the fruit was actually worth.

This year, about $1,000 was donated above fruit prices.

Fruit also could be bought online. Eighty orders were placed online this year.

This year’s top seller is Kevin Wright, with $2,242 worth of fruit. He was recognized at the high school’s Dec. 10 winter concert.

The average amount each student sold is around $500.


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