ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell High School band members are gearing up for their annual M.A.R.C.H. fundraiser that will take place March 16.
M.A.R.C.H. — which stands for Musicians Acting with Responsibility, Compassion and Hard work — is an effort to bridge the gap between school funding for the band and the actual operating costs for the program.
“The band program at Roswell High School, as well as other local high schools, is only partially funded by the county,” said Roswell High School Band Booster Association Co-President Michael Dal Cerro. “The lion’s share of the cost to operate the in-class band, marching band, competitions, color guard, indoor drum line, and any band trips falls to the parents and parent-organized booster associations. This fundraiser is designed to empower the students to take ownership of their band program as well as connect in their community through service.”
On Saturday, March 16, band and guard members will spend the day working in multiple locations across Fulton County to help collect donations and pledges toward their goal of $30,000. Each member aims to raise at least $400 individually. The fundraising will also include incentive tiers that include T-shirts, gift cards and season passes to Six Flags.
“Music is a universal language, and we all have a universal love for Roswell,” Dal Cerro said. “The kids are our future leaders and a part of this community. We want to empower them through this community service project.”
Last year, the fundraiser’s inaugural year, was the largest fundraiser in RHS band history, said Roswell High School Band Booster Association Co-President Mark Herring. Students contributed over 600 man hours across the Roswell community to help organizations like North Fulton Community Charities, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the Old Roswell Cemetery and local senior centers.
Some of this year’s sites and projects will include working on an organic garden at Crabapple Middle School, Vickery Creek clean up, Smith Plantation clean up, Fulton County Foster Care volunteering, city storm drain cleaning and Saturday school program participation at Mimosa Elementary School.
M.A.R.C.H. was inspired by a high-school ministry Herring used to work for in Barrington, Ill.
“We would raise all the operational funds, apart from salaries, from a similar community service day,” Herring said. “It became a fun tradition that the kids looked forward to every year and it helped instill a love of community for those students.”
The one-day event is a departure from more traditional methods of fundraising, like selling cookies, candles or popcorn, the profits of which partially go to a separate company.
“We’ve found that people are much more generous and willing to donate monies if nearly all of it goes to the program and students,” Herring said. “Additionally, donors are equally motivated by the fact that it has an impact in the local community. It’s a win/win for everyone and it’s tax deductible.”
For more information and to donate, visit roswellband.com. Tax-deductible donations can be made by texting “RHSband” to 779-77.