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Mattress Sale Raises Thousands for School Music Programs

Apr 01, 2015 02:14PM ● By Steven Chisholm

Testing mattresses at the fundraiser

written by Steven Chisholm, Contributing Writer

After a long day at work there’s no better feeling than falling  face first into a brand-new mattress—except, maybe, knowing that that fresh, comfy mattress also helped fund Bellingham’s several music programs.

On Saturday, March 7, the Bellingham Friends of Music worked with BHS Band and Chorus Director Marie Forte, BMMS Band Director Robert Glynn, and Custom Fundraising Solutions to host a mattress sale at the middle school in order to raise money for the town’s music programs.

People gathered at the middle school to test out the several mattresses showcased throughout the floor, and many took advantage of the bargain prices. “There’s a lot of savings for the people that are buying the mattresses,” said Robert Glynn. “Plus, there’s money that’s coming to us.” Jack Isaacs, a Custom Fundraising Solutions representative, assisted shoppers with their prospective purchases. Isaacs’s job was to organize and assist in hosting the event while Bellingham’s music staff worked on spreading the word. “Jack is very professional and very motivated,” said Glynn.

Glynn not only had kind words for the Custom Fundraising Solutions rep, but he also expressed immense appreciation for Bellingham’s Friends of Music, who’ve helped immeasurably with the town’s music programs. In reference to the mattress sale, he said, “The Friends of Music really led the charge on it. They looked into it [and] talked to some other schools that had done it. Last year was much scarier because it’s such an out-of-the-ordinary fundraiser. We were a little hesitant to do it at first, but it was very successful last year; and here we are again for year two.” Last year’s event raised $6,750, so there’s no question as to why the Friends of Music reached out to the company once more.

Glynn said that the Friends of Music dedicate their efforts to raising funds throughout the entire calendar year. The group donates the funds to the school’s bands and choruses as well as various general music programs and the color guard. Bellingham’s growing group of musicians are beholden to the Friends of Music because, as Glynn said, “There’s a lot of costs that go with running a program of this size that is affecting as many students as it is right now.” In addition to generous donations of the Friends of Music, he found it important to say, “It’s nice to be able to have this group that’s raising this money to supplement—but not supplant—what we’re getting from the school department.”

This year’s event raised $3,795 with $755 of that going directly to students as a reward for their personal referrals. The music program plans to use these funds for new uniforms and sabers for the color guard and a new podium for the marching band, and to finance buses for trips, including the middle school’s annual trip to a music festival in northern MA. More important, the funds are used to assist young musicians who may not have the financial ability to afford a multi-thousand-dollar instrument. Glynn noted, “A lot of them are demonstrating financial need and couldn’t participate in the program. Most kids have to rent their instruments that their parents pay a monthly fee for, and I don’t want to exclude kids whose families maybe can’t afford to do that.” It’s apparent that Bellingham’s Friends of Music give children the opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t be able to support.

Friends of Music President Barbara Chambers highlighted the many scholarships awarded to Bellingham student musicians using similarly raised funds: “We give two to three scholarships away every year to a senior. We give scholarships for summer music programs. Some kids went to South Shore Conservatory last year, and we were able to give scholarships toward that. [We give] scholarships for private music lessons.”

The Bellingham Friends of Music has shown time and time again that it is an essential element of the Bellingham School District’s music department. “We do whatever we can to grow the program,” said Chambers. Given the enormous size of the town’s music programs, it’s evident that the Friends of Music are doing an incredible job contributing to the resources that these musicians need to succeed.

Be sure to view the other Steve Chisholm photos of the mattress fundraiser.






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