What Is The Charlestown Band Booster Association?
The Charlestown Band of Pirates only receives roughly one-eighth of its funding from the Greater Clark County Schools Corporation, all the rest of the funding for all of our Concert Bands, our Pep Band, our Marching Band, our Color Guard, our Winter Guard, our Music Theory classes, and our Music History classes are provided through the Band Booster Association. The primary goal for the organization is and always has been to provide financial support to the talented youth of Charlestown, Indiana so that they may participate in the Band and Color Guard programs within our community so that our Band programs never face these issues.
Without the financial support provided by the Band Booster Association, many low-income students would not be able to participate in our programs, many of our programs would face severe cuts, there would be little to no money for transportation, and the quality of our programs would drastically suffer. The Charlestown Band Booster Association is a long standing tradition in the city of Charlestown, Indiana, spanning all the way back to the Charlestown Band Parents Organization in the mid 1900’s. It is up to us, all of our community, to continue this long-standing tradition in order to assist our youth so that they may participate in our programs and receive a well-rounded, fun, and challenging music education.
Why Should You Become A Band Booster?
Membership to the Charlestown Band Booster Association is open to all current Parents and Guardians of our Band students and to all former Alumni Band students. Just because voting rights are only opened to people in those categories does not mean that a person cannot volunteer with our organization and attend meetings. All of our meetings are opened to public and all voices matter. Since we represent this community, the voice of the community is and always will be represented so that we may improve and keep our Band programs at the most proficient and equally represented level possible. Any person can come to our meetings and participate in our mission.
Our organization needs all of the help we can get. There is always room for more help. More help and community support will help us with fundraising efforts and will help to raise awareness for our cause and for our mission to support our bands. More participation will help our programs function more efficiently, will help us to travel more and do more things, will encourage others to participate in and follow our efforts, and will help us work towards our fundraising goals. Our organization is funded through fundraising and donations, not through mandatory fees or through membership dues. Membership is free and attending Band Booster administered events is not mandatory. Just being a part and being there to help is better than watching and waiting for something to get done. Community support is the best way to raise awareness for our cause and to accomplish our mission.
What Has Changed?
Since participation in our program has been lower in recent years due to various circumstances, we looked for new ways to improve the program so that more people would volunteer and participate. The very first thing we decided to do was redo our bylaws. Our organization completely revised our old Constitution and Bylaws in order to simplify them and remove things that were outdated due to our change in size and change in participation.
One of the biggest changes that we voted on was to allow Alumni, our former band students, to participate in the program. For many years former band students have followed our program, but they have been unable to participate and do the things that they love. Now, with the bylaws changed, they can participate in our Band Booster program and help our band in many ways unlike they could previously. Since changing the bylaws, participation at our meetings has been gradually increasing, which is a good sign. In other words, we have moved away from a “parent-only” approach to a more open and community-oriented approach to how we do things.
We also rewrote the bylaws in an effort to work toward a 501(c)3 federal non-profit status. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization status is regulated and administered by the US Department of Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service. Getting this level of recognition would open the doors to more donations from bigger companies, such as Disney, Apple, Home Depot, and many larger companies who only donate to 501(c)3 organizations. It also creates better controls over finances and organization procedures since the federal government closely watches organizations under the status.
Another huge thing that we have been working on in recent months is improved communications. In an effort to improve communications between our programs, parents, guardians, our community, and our students, we have created a new website and new social media accounts. The website and social media accounts will help us to quickly spread news and information to a wide audience while also allowing us to share interesting information in a unique way that will hopefully engage more people into participating in our programs. We have created and uploaded important documents online and have created a digital interactive calendar. We also share events and fundraisers to spread information about them. The work has been paying off, as many parents and community members have been sharing photographs and videos of our band online, demonstrating increased community support.
Summing It Up
So, why should you participate in our Band Booster Association? Things have changed, we are more open now and we are listening. We need more help, there’s always room for more. We have goals, and we are working hard to achieve them. The Band programs could not function as they currently do without the support of our organization. We want to raise awareness for our cause, and we need everyone to help us do that. After all, the number one priority for our program is and always will be our students. So, join us in our mission!