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Board approves band uniforms

WINTON – The band students at Hertford County High School will get their new uniforms before the 2005-06 academic year.

The Hertford County Board of Education Monday night approved a plan to allow new uniforms and instruments to be ordered before the upcoming school year.

After listening to a presentation from Hertford County Band Booster Jackie Freeman, the Board decided to work with the boosters to secure new uniforms and equipment for the HCHS band.

According to information provided to the Board, the cost for 100 band uniforms would be $41,300. There was also a price tag of $16,028 for five new instruments being sought by the band. Those instruments included two sousaphones, a concert tuba, an eight-piece bass drum and a five-piece snare drum.

Board member Ronald G. Baker told Freeman the board wanted her to discuss the plans to raise funds for the band.

Freeman said the boosters had sent letters to area businesses requesting donations and would soon be selling candy, candles and dinners.

Board of Education Chairman David Shields said that, as a business owner, he would have liked more detail included in the letter.

&uot;If they don’t know what you’re trying to raise, it makes it difficult,&uot; Shields said.

Vice Chairman John D. Horton said he also felt that information would help.

&uot;I was in a group the other night that was discussing this issue and we didn’t know how much a uniform would cost,&uot; Horton said. &uot;I think if there were a breakdown, you would see that some people would want to donate enough money to outfit one child.

&uot;I think some fraternal or sorority organizations, for example, might be interested in dressing a child rather than just making a donation,&uot; Horton added.

Board member J. Wendell Hall asked what the cost per outfit would be and was told it was $413.

After the discussion, Baker moved to have the Board join the efforts to raise funds by contributing $4 for every $1 raised by the Hertford County Band Boosters. Shields said he would second the motion for the sake of discussion.

Board member Rev. Patrick Young said he didn’t like the idea of matching funds.

&uot;I understand what you are talking about, but matching funds will cause further delays,&uot; Young said. &uot;We need to make sure our students look appropriate.&uot;

Young then offered an amended motion that the Board provide funds to allow the uniforms to be ordered immediately, but encouraged the boosters to keep raising funds. Horton offered a second to the motion.

Baker said he wanted to clarify that the motion was that the Board would allow the uniforms to be ordered and the district would make up the difference in what the cost was and what was raised. He was told that was the motion.

Shields called for a vote and the Board unanimously approved Young’s proposal.

Horton then asked Freeman to continue her work because the board was &uot;hurting too,&uot; but was trying to do what was best for students.

&uot;Keep on doing your best,&uot; Baker told Freeman.

Later in the meeting, Horton took his personal time to praise his fellow board members.

&uot;I want to thank my fellow board members for their generosity,&uot; Horton said. &uot;I just appreciate the members of this board supporting our children in uniform. There’s no doubt they represent us and now they will be able to do so even better. Thank you.&uot;