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The Guilford High School (GHS) Band and the GHS Music Boosters are currently undergoing a major fundraising effort to raise funds to replace the outdated marching band uniforms that are just shy of 20 years old.
"It's definitely something that needs to be done," GHS Band Director Mark Gahm said. "You can really see the difference between the old and new uniforms."
Fundraising efforts began in September 2013 and will continue throughout the remainder of the school year and into the summer, with boosters and band students hoping to have the new uniforms by the 2013-'14 school year.
Though no events have been hosted, fundraising efforts include raising money through change jars.
"Our current uniforms are 17 years old. We are currently collecting change and taking direct donations," GHS Music Booster Renee Meskill said. "We will be having a sale-maybe bulbs-starting soon and we have a car wash planned for May."
Meskill's son Sam is a GHS band student and senior; he explained that members have been sending the jars home with students to be filled with loose change. They also bring the jars to concerts they participate in to be passed around.
"Right now we're just sending home change jars...If people have spare change they can throw it in there and send it back," he said. "We give the jars out at concerts and various events, too."
To outfit the entire band, the boosters are looking for 150 new uniforms. Suggested donations are $50, which pays for the pants of one uniform, $100, which pays for the jacket of one uniform, or $150, which is the cost of one full fitted uniform.
A donor of $50 or more will have his or her name listed in every 2013-'13 GHS Band concert program. The names will also appear on a banner carried by members of the GHS Marching Band during an upcoming parade.
Businesses are also encouraged to participate in the fundraising efforts. Any company that donates $300 or more will have its own sign in a future parade.
The concert band will be performing at Woolsey Hall in New Haven on Friday, March 15 at 8 p.m. and will seek donations then. The band will then march on Monday, May 27 at the annual Guilford Memorial Day Parade at 10 a.m.
Meskill and band member Daniela Collahuazo said although they won't be able to enjoy the new uniforms themselves because they are graduating this year, they're excited that many of their peers will get the opportunity to have brand new outfits to wear when they march in town parades.
"We won't get to enjoy them, but at least the band will have them," Collahuazo said. "The new uniforms are really nice and they have a nice big G on them so everyone will know its Guilford."
GHS Music Boosters asked that donations be mailed to Gahm and made payable to the GHS Music Boosters, 605 New England Road Guilford, CT, 06437. Checks should include the word "uniform" in the memo line. For more information, call Renee Meskill at 203-988-0339.