Winter guard fundraises due to debt

Jazzy Nguyen, Staff Writer

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Winter guard students sell baked goods in front of Lunardi’s to make up for the deficit from their season.

Unless it can raise $4,000 by the end of summer, the award-winning Winter Guard program may not continue in its current form, say officials and captains on the team.

“Having a music program is really important, especially something like guard where it’s not as well-represented,” said freshman Naia Sasano, “It’s a really good experience for people who like dance and music because it’s a good meeting point for that.”

Due to an issue with funding, Branham’s Winter Guard may not get a shot at providing that experience next year.  During the winter sports season, the team built up around $4,000 of debt.

“We have to make that up, but if we keep sucking money out of the Booster Club, they’ll have to amputate the program.” says Sasano.

This year the program had to pay for a new floor, uniforms and flags, and other necessities for the winter season. As a result of these expenses, the team had to take out a loan from the music boosters.

Winter Guard co-captain, senior Francesca Torres, explains that the boosters will not be able to fund their program for another year if the debt isn’t repaid.

“According to the boosters right now, if we don’t pay off what we still owe… It’ll show them that we’re not able to pay for ourselves,” Torres said.

The average winter guard season can cost a minimum of $10,000, and only a thousand dollars of that is covered by the music boosters. This means that the remaining estimate of $9,000 is left to the guard team raise. While a portion of that is covered by the donation athletes pay to participate, there is still around $3,000 that needs to be addressed.

The main thing that the program has struggled with was paying their instructors, who either haven’t received their salary, or received it late. The team has to be self-sufficient in order to be operational, and gets $1,000 from Music Boosters, the parent fundraising program at Branham.

“Without fundraising, we can’t pay the staff, can’t pay for the uniform, and that costs a lot,” said Juliet Ferriera, a parent and coach.

Because of the added expenses, fundraising was much more difficult this year. If the team is not able to raise the money that is needed for their season in time, they can ask for a loan from the Music Boosters. This extends the time they have to raise the rest of the money. If the team is not able to repay the boosters, the program will be cut.

The Winter Guard team has recently had multiple fundraisers in an attempt to raise as much money as possible before the school year ends. Their next fundraiser will be today at Branham, where they will be selling boba after school.