JACKSON TWP. The Jackson High School "Purple Army" has started a campaign to raise money to replace its 40-year-old marching band uniforms. Many of the uniforms are beyond repair and many need replaced.
Band Director Michele Monigold wrote in an email interview that the current uniforms are made of wool and aren’t stain resistant. Plus, they cost $900 to replace. The new uniforms will be made of lighter weight material that is stain resistant and the cost of each will be $390. They are designed with a one-piece jacket which will require less storage space and less dry-cleaning costs.
"The Jackson Band Boosters have already raised some funds for the uniform replacement, but enrollment has exceeded our expectations and we would like to raise $100,000 for the new uniforms by 2018 and not have to buy any old uniform parts," Monigold wrote.
She said the average lifespan of a band uniform is eight to 10 years. Many of the current uniforms have material that is disintegrating and can’t be sewn back together.
The band will need to purchase 325-350 uniforms. They need to purchase enough to accommodate growing students and for new students moving into the district. Fundraising includes reaching out to the community and alumni through mailings and social media.
"We are projecting increased enrollment in the band program over the next few years. When our staff looked at the projection, we realized we needed to prioritize what we need to keep the program at the high-quality level it is," Monigold wrote.
She said the first priority was to make sure students had quality instruments to use. The school board and the administration has approved the purchase of much-needed instruments. The next priority is to address the problem of the aging uniform inventory.
"We would like to premier the uniforms in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame. The parade usually requires students to be in full uniform unless there is a heat advisory. It would be wonderful for our kids to have a lighter weight uniform to wear for that event," Monigold wrote.
Clean uniforms are issued to students every year in July. They are responsible for keeping it cleaned and pressed for every performance. Any damage beyond the normal wear and tear is the responsibility of the student to get it repaired and he or she is financially responsible for the cost of the repair.
Monigold said the design of the new uniform keeps band members and alumni members in mind and respects past design elements.
"I’m honored to live and work in the community. Jackson Township is a community that truly loves its band. It’s my hope that the community and the alumni will see the great need for the new uniforms and do what they can to support the band by contributing to make the new uniforms a reality," wrote Monigold.