FORT MILL — By Jenny Overman
With just four months to go before they load the plane and prepare for takeoff, the Fort Mill High School Marching Band continues to raise Dollars for Dublin.
The band, invited to perform in Dublin, Ireland, for the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day parade, just wrapped up a busy week of fundraising, including a chili cook off and poinsettia sale, and is now preparing for several more major fundraisers before the holiday season begins.
The band has raised $80,000 of its original $100,000 goal. But recently band officials learned that airfare from Charlotte to Dublin, Ireland, has increased. They expect that increase will cost between $10,000 and $15,000, so they’ve increased their goal and scheduled additional fundraisers to cover that increase.
“We mapped out a plan,” said band staff member Jason Ford. “Everyone is focused and working hard and confident that we will meet our goal.”
The amount students will pay to go on the trip is not increasing, but the fundraising goal has been raised to cover the increased airfare cost, Ford said.
The band’s biggest upcoming fundraiser is the Holiday Fair from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 1 at Fort Mill High School. The holiday fair will include more than 40 professional vendors and crafters selling items ranging from hand-sewn apparel to homemade pottery. Baked goods, candles, and hand crafted jewelry will be for sale as well as items from business vendors such as 31 Gifts and Scentsy. Another area of the Holiday Fair will sell new and gently used seasonal items. Gift wrap will be available. Food will also be available for purchase.
Pictures can be taken with Santa for $2. Babysitting is available while you shop for $5 an hour. Babysitting is also available for parents who have errands or shopping to do in other locations for $7 an hour.
Admission to the holiday fair is free.
In addition to the craft vendors, food and holiday items, children can enjoy a “Santa’s bag” shop. A flyer the band is distributing make sit sound like the perfect Christmastime stop:
“Our very own Christmas elves will help your child shop for presents. Gifts between 50 cents and $3. Your child will leave with a full bag of wrapped presents for the family!”
The band also continues to promote one of its most successful fundraisers, Scrap To Gold. The next collection date is Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The band welcomes donations of scrap metal, particularly aluminum, brass, copper and stainless steel.
The Scrap to Gold project nearly suffered a minor setback last week when the band had some scrap metal stolen. All of the stolen metal was recovered and a suspect was charged.
“The story had a happy ending. Thanks to the work by the Fort Mill Police department, the person was stopped and the materials recovered,” said Ford.
Raking to Dublin is another ongoing fundraiser that many Fort Mill residents have taken advantage of during recent fall months. Leaves are raining down throughout the township, and students and adult volunteers are willing to come rake them up. On Dec. 8 volunteers will rake yards for $20, $40 or $60, depending on the size of the yard. For more information, call Dawn at 493-0141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The band continues to sell Dollars for Dublin T-shirts for $10 each. T-shirt sales have netted nearly $3,000 so far. Members are continuing to seek individual and business donors as well.
One fundraiser still in the planning stages is a food festival, similar to Taste of Charlotte, in January. A pancake breakfast is also planned for January. Details are still being hammered out but will be available on the band’s website as they are finalized, at www.fortmillhsband.com.