ST. MARYS — A local marching band will soon be holding its first restaurant fundraiser.
St. Marys All-Brass Marching Band will be hosting “A Taste for Music” St. Marys Band night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, July 9 at Beer Barrel along Indiana Avenue to help raise funds for the band’s trip to the Citrus Bowl parade and Disney parks.
Band Parents Organization President Dan Burke explained how they came up with the idea.
“It was kind of a combination of the Band Parents (Organization) officers, and we were just trying to find ways to raise money, especially with the trip to Florida coming up next year,” he said. “With the new restaurants in town, we wanted to contact them to see what kind of options they had, what kind of opportunities they could give to non-profits to raise money.”
Burke said he made some phone calls and got in contact with Mark Aldrich, the marketing director for Beer Barrel and Happy Daz restaurants.
“He explained to me that if we produce a flyer like this and get it out to the public, that they can come during this particular day during these particular hours and our organization can received 10 percent of what the receipt is,” Burke said.
This sort of fundraiser, he added, differs from usual fundraising projects.
“It’s really simple, and it’s really not a whole lot of work on our part except for getting the flyers out to the masses, so to speak,” he said.
“Hopefully they come out that day during those hours.”
If the fundraiser is successful, Burke noted they would be open to holding more restaurant events.
“This is our first run at it, so we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “Incidentally, Mark with Beer Barrel said if it goes over well, that we can do this on a continuing basis.”
Burke said, depending on how attendance is, they could hold the fundraisers on a monthly basis.
“We could hold these on say the second Monday of each month,” he said. “We can continue to do this.”
The fundraisers are not restricted to Beer Barrel.
“We’d also like to pursue other area restaurants, as well” Director of Bands Dane Newlove said.
“Those who do things like this,” Burke added.
Interested restaurants can contact the St. Marys band department if they are interested.
“We called it A Taste for Music because it gets what this is about out there, it’s a way to support the band,” Newlove said. “We hope to continue to do this with other restaurants.”
Burke said he believed other band parents and the students would support the fundraiser because it’s not door-to-door fundraising.
“I believe parents will react in a positive way,” he said. “It’s not like going out and having them sell sausage and tickets for something, things of that nature. Yes, still have to get the flyers out there.”
He also complimented Newlove’s flyer design.
“Like anything new, this is uncharted waters so to speak,” Burke said. “I guess we’ll know after the 9th and kind of go from there.”
Newlove said they hoped to get the flyers out before July 9 in order to accommodate others’ schedules.
“We’re hoping to get the information out early, if people plan their weeks out, they can plan to have dinner that night,” he said.
Burke noted, in order for the band to received the percentage, patrons have to have the flyer in-hand.
“We can’t just be standing at the door giving people flyers as they come in,” he said. “It’s up to us to get the flyers out the folks so they have them in their hand.”
“I think it’s a win-win also,” Newlove said. “Maybe people haven’t had the opportunity to come out to Beer Barrel yet and they can go in there and kind of give back.”
The flyers are available in the Memorial High School office, at RJ Burke Insurance and at Beer Barrel, and they can be printed from Burke’s personal Facebook page, from the RJ Burke Insurance Agency Facebook page, from the St. Marys Band Facebook page and from the Band page under the Memorial High School Activities page on SMRiders.net.