Just in time for the Fourth of July, a high school band in Tennessee is selling U.S. flag subscriptions to local residents to raise money for new band uniforms, a creative way to raise money.
Located in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, the Independence Marching Band is desperately in need of new uniforms. The existing ones are 13 years old, five years past the normal life of a competitive band uniform, says Mollie Mark, director of bands, in a recent Franklin Home Page article. A new band uniform costs $425.
According to the article, the Independence High School Band Booster Organization (IHSBBO) is holding a uniform drive to accept donations to the uniform fund. In addition, area residents can purchase a U.S. flag subscription to have an Indy band student place a 3-foot by 5-foot U.S. flag on an 8-foot pole in the subscriber’s yard on four national patriotic holidays per year – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day. A one-year subscription is $40, and a two-year subscription is $75.
“In keeping our Indy pride strong and our band looking its best, the time has come to replace our marching band uniforms. Although the existing uniforms are well-loved, they are also well-worn and ready to be retired,” the band says on its website.
The Independence High School band is not the only marching band participating in the U.S. flag subscription program. Other bands in Williamson County also participate, but they have a friendly agreement with each other to stay within their own boundaries.
“It’s a program which we all want to see each other benefit from,” says Amy Atkin, IHSBBO president. “It’s a fantastic service to provide for the community and our students benefit greatly from the experience.”
There seems to be no end to the innovation that the subscription model can support. We’ve seen everything from coffee, razors and feminine hygiene products to air travel, laundry and flag subscriptions. If you can buy it, you can likely find someone who will sell you a membership or subscription for it.
We consider this program to be particularly innovative though. The band took a service that doesn’t currently exist and created a need that its residents don’t really have. Aside from the cost of flags and possibly flag poles, there is no cost for the service, so most of the subscription money raised can go directly to support the band’s uniform drive. The cost is really just time, but as the booster club president pointed out, this is a community service project from which everyone benefits.
Is it financially viable though? Each band uniform costs $425 each, so the band needs to sell 11 one-year subscriptions to cover one uniform. They’ll have to sell a lot of subscriptions to cover the entire marching band, but coupled with direct donations, they hope to achieve their goal before the 2016 football season. We hope they make it. They get an “A+” for innovation.