VIP Booster Club advocates for vocal, instrumental music
Tonganoxie's young musicians look to the Vocal Instrumental Performance Booster Club for some extras.
"We support the performers in whatever way we can," said Debbie Gravatt, VIP Booster Club president.
Beef raffles, bingo night, Friday doughnut sales, selling frozen foods, candy bars and newspaper subscriptions for The Mirror have all been part of a plan to raise funds for the music programs this year, mainly the band.
"The music program has a lot of needs," said Donna Mages, band representative.
However, paying for the band's trip to the Cotton Bowl has been the main priority for the past year. The cost for the trip was about $380 for each of the 100 students going on the trip later this month. For each of the 15 or so chaperones, the cost was about $432.
"People volunteer a lot of time and a lot of work to make things happen," Mages said. "I don't think a lot of people realize how much time goes into it."
Gravatt agreed that a lot of hard work has been put into raising funds for the trip.
"The kids have worked really hard," she said. "With the Cotton Bowl fund-raising, we have probably more than doubled this year what we usually raise."
The school board helped by contributing $8,000 to the trip. The band raised about $30,000 through several fund-raisers. The booster club members also worked the concession stand at sporting events.
"The other (athletics) booster club members have been very kind to us," Mages said. "They have hired us to do some of the concessions for soccer and cross country also."
VIP booster club members now are beginning to think about their next funding venture. One of those projects will be to raise money for the Chieftain Singers and the high school choir to possibly go to a music festival in Chicago this spring. Nothing has been finalized yet.
Mages also said she would like to start having fund-raisers for the seventh- and eighth-grade music programs so there is money in programs' accounts when those students reach high school.
"As a booster club," Gravatt said, "I would really like to thank the community for all the support it has given us."