KMS Band Boosters look for a little help with 'extravaganza'

KINGMAN - The Kingman Middle School Band Boosters are looking for community donations for their upcoming annual rummage sale fundraiser set for next Saturday.

For several years now, KMS's band has been using the rummage sale as a means of supplementing its budget for instruments and travel. According to Band Booster co-chair Don Gragg, the school district has been as generous as can be expected, given the need for budget tightening over the last few years, and the band has also received some tax-deductible donations from generous members of the community.

But while such donations have helped the band replace smaller instruments like woodwinds and brass, other larger instruments, particularly percussion, are still simply too expensive to replace.

"The school does a lot as far as support," Gragg said. "It's mainly the bigger instruments, the things that cost $10,000, that they just have to continue using year after year after year."

As in years past, the fundraiser on Saturday is being promoted as an "extravaganza," featuring art and live entertainment from various extracurricular departments at the middle school, not just the band. Gragg said that's done in part to remind people of the importance music and art programs play in keeping some students interested in coming back to school day after day.

"We're trying to get all arts and entertainment in the school involved," he said. "It's really just all about the kids. The music is our part of it, but it's really about keeping the kids in school and giving them a well-rounded education."

The big challenge right now, Gragg said, will be to get a decent stock of goods for the rummage sale itself. The Band Boosters are asking donors for any new or "gently used" items they no longer need. They're not particular, either - in years past, the boosters have accepted everything from used clothes to antique china to exercise equipment.

"We'll take pretty much anything; we can put anything to use," Gragg said. "What really sold good last year was small furniture, lamps, we had some TV sets, kitchen appliances. Smaller items like that sold really well. We had a lot of clothes too, and even though we sold a lot, we have a lot left over."

In addition to the rummage sale, Gragg said he's still taking donations for a raffle as well. Currently about a dozen local businesses have already signed up, and several plan to have their own booths at the March 12 fundraiser to promote some of the products they'll be giving away.

"The raffle this year is turning out pretty good," Gragg said. "We've got two weeks left and we're getting more every day, so I'm thinking by the time we're done this year we'll have at least 30 items."

Raffle items include a pearl necklace courtesy of Diamond Brother's jewelers, gift baskets from D&C Comics, and a free month of service form NPG Cable, among others. Raffle tickets are already on sale for $1 apiece or $5 for six, with the drawing to take place around 2 p.m. on the 12th.

"We're starting to sell raffle tickets right now, and we have them put their name and phone number down so they don't have to stick around," Gragg said.

Gragg is hopeful that this year's fundraiser will make at least as much as last year, when the boosters managed to bring in $1,500. He said anyone interested in donating goods for the rummage or raffle can get in touch by calling (928) 530-4821, or by simply dropping their items off at the KMS campus at 1969 Detroit Ave.

"There's a drop off at the school on the east side by Fireman's Park," he said. "The school has asked people not to drop off during school hours, but we'd be more than happy to come out and pick stuff up from people's houses."