Rummage Extravaganza promotes Kingman Middle School's musicians

AHRON SHERMAN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->From left Char Johnston, Denise Chappell, Anita Rossi and Don Gragg showcase some of the goods that have been donated and they plan to sell at the KMS Band Boosters’ Rummage Extravaganza March 24.

AHRON SHERMAN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->From left Char Johnston, Denise Chappell, Anita Rossi and Don Gragg showcase some of the goods that have been donated and they plan to sell at the KMS Band Boosters’ Rummage Extravaganza March 24.

KINGMAN - The Kingman Middle School Band Boosters' 3rd Annual Rummage Extravaganza is a little less than two weeks away, meaning you can still drop off age-appropriate gently used items to be sold.

The Boosters, an organization formed five years ago to enhance the middle school's band program through advocacy, fundraising and volunteerism, created the overgrown yard sale with a carnival atmosphere to help raise money for the band.

Along with featuring a ton of stuff to buy, the Extravaganza features a ton of raffle prizes, an inflatable jump house and various vendor booths selling food. Musicians, including the KMS band will be performing all day as well.

The event is planned months in advance, said Band Booster Chair Anita Rossi.

Julie Gragg, the KMS band director and Kingman Unified music coordinator, said the event is a chance to promote the school's musicians.

"It's all about the kids," Gragg said.

Although the Boosters hold monthly fundraisers, the Extravaganza is by far the largest, most successful, said Denise Chappell, the group's treasurer.

Every year, the event seems to get bigger, Rossi said. Last year, the Extravaganza raised between $2,300 and $2,400, she said.

"I'm hoping for $2,500 this year," Rossi said.

For the current school year, the Boosters were able to purchase and donate five flutes. The year before, it was three clarinets. Anyone with the slightest inkling into the price of instruments knows that these donations are nothing to scoff at.

The Boosters also transformed the band room with a new paint job and a nice storage area with lockers capable of holding heavy instruments.

Members of the group believe KUSD does a good job with the band program, but with budget constraints it can't do everything. That's where enhancement and the Boosters come into play.

Rossi, whose kids are in high school right now, continues to work with the Boosters because she believes in the cause.

Gragg's husband, Don, works as a volunteer with the Boosters. He said the group does what it can - which is a lot - but the community is able to fill in the gaps.

"My biggest thing is advocacy," Don said. "We can raise all the money in the world, but if they shut the program down, what's the point?"

It comes down to keeping the program alive, Julie said. Each segment of music learning feeds the higher levels, she added. Music is skill specific, and if you lose the lower levels of music programs, you miss out on the kids with moderate abilities, she said.

"Kingman is very fortunate," she said, as KUSD hasn't cut its music program the same way other districts around the state have.

In many instances, the Boosters supplement what KUSD cannot cover.

You don't even have to leave your home to donate items for the Extravaganza. The Boosters will pick whatever you have to donate up. All you have to do is call Booster Secretary Char Johnston at (928) 225-1246 or Don Gragg at (928) 530-4821 to arrange a pickup. If you would rather drop items off yourself you can do so at the KMS parking lot, 1969 Detroit Ave.

As for the Extravaganza itself, it starts at 8 a.m. and goes to 2 p.m. March 24 at KMS.