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JAMmin’ fundraisers

Sydney Hembrough, Staff writer

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Crimson pride is something that every club, team and organization at Jacksonville High School holds near and dear to their heart. The marching band and color guard are a capstone of school spirit within the Jacksonville community. Their upbeat performances are enjoyed by people of all ages at football games, parades, pep rallies and competitions. But, these performances aren’t cheap. In fact, they come with a pretty hefty price tag. Covering these costs is the current goal of the Jacksonville Association for Music or JAM.

JAM is a parent organization in charge of coordinating fundraisers and activities for the benefit of the band and choir members throughout the school district. Their main focus this year is raising money to cover the cost of new uniforms for both the marching band and the color guard at JHS. Julie Ketcham, a co-chair for JAM, says JAM is hoping to collect $90,000 for this cause. New uniforms are much needed as the current ones were originally put to use in the fall of 1996. Ketcham reports that they have current students wearing the same uniforms their parents wore in high school. This claim, one that other sporting teams cannot make, is one that the department is not proud of.

The parents’ desire to give their students confidence when representing the Jacksonville community on the competition fields all over Illinois encouraged them to kick the fundraising into high gear. The fundraising started off with a Cardinal baseball ticket raffle that brought in over $1,400. They also sold memberships into the Jacksonville Association of Music that started at only $10 a year. Spirit wear items were also sold in hopes to get closer to their financial goal.

JAM is anxiously awaiting the impact of their upcoming fundraisers. They are holding a Quarter Auction on November 10 to be held at JHS from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Along with the auction, there will also be food available and many vendors. Ketcham says, “It will be a fabulous opportunity to get some bargains, have some fun, do some Christmas shopping and support our high school music program!” The music department is also looking forward to their annual Dessert and Dazzle on March 10, 2018 which is always a fun and entertaining event to showcase the talented madrigal choir.

Throughout the year, JAM has been working on a unique fundraiser called “Jacksonville-Opoly.” Parents approached businesses with hopes to sell advertising spaces on a board game similar to Monopoly, ranging in sponsorship levels from $250 all the way to $1000. Fortunately, all spots have been filled at this time. However, there is still a chance to have your business or name on the board and the box. Contact Julie Ketcham 217-248-8263, Heather Leonard 217-883-7745 or President Kim Oberg 217-883-1316 to donate or preorder a game. Once the games are manufactured in spring of 2018, students will aid in selling the games. What a fun way to raise money while including the community members and businesses in Jacksonville!

Ketcham would like to add that the students have done a phenomenal job of assisting with the fundraising efforts. From selling raffle tickets to collecting items to be auctioned off, they have truly been amazing advocates for the future of the music department. She would also like to open up the donation of instruments because the department is always needing replacements. These kids are a part of something bigger than themselves, and their hard work to improve their voices and hit those notes does not go unnoticed in the Jacksonville community. New uniforms would give them the confidence to do their best when putting on a show and performing for the public.

If you would like to donate or learn more, contact Julie Ketcham, Heather Leonard, or Kim Oberg.

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JAMmin’ fundraisers