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THS band plans to light up Fourth of July sky

Kids and parents want to sell a lot of fireworks to help pay music program expenses next year
by: Jaime Valdez, DIRECTING TRAFFIC — Tigard High School marching band members Katie Schoblaske (holding the enter sign) and Jessica McIntyre (holding the honk sign) direct traffic to the band’s fireworks booth on Pacific Highway to promote sales.

TIGARD - There are lots of places to buy fireworks right now, but if you purchase your sparklers, ground bloom flowers and fountains from one of the Tigard High School band booths, you may be purchasing part of a trumpet or drum as well.

The THS marching band and color guard - with tons of support from the THS Band and Auxiliary Parent Organization - raises money all year long to keep the program operating, but their biggest fund-raiser each year is fireworks sales.

The group has already opened a booth next to the Tigard Grange on Pacific Highway and will open a second one at Tigard High School tomorrow (Friday).

The kids and parents met last year's goal of $5,000 and set an ambitious goal this year of $7,000, according to Tom Hunter, who is in charge of publicity for THSBAPO.

'We must raise $50,000 to $60,000 per year to keep the program going,' he said during a sales training session Monday evening at the Grange. 'All the proceeds go to the band, color guard and jazz band. When people purchase fireworks from us, they are helping keep the music program alive and thriving.

'We have 70 in the marching band, and 75 percent of them are working in the booths. For the first time, we're offering an incentive - if kids work three shifts, which is 10 hours, we will offset their fees - $50 for the band and $15 for the color guard. Fees for kids in the marching band are $375.'

Customers will find the shopping easy, with students and parents in the booths ready to wait on them, plus there is a special table of fireworks set aside for kids under 16 and daily specials.

In addition, many local businesses - 'from Greenburg Road to Durham Road,' Hunter said - are offering coupons on fireworks

'Working here teaches kids skills - customer skills and life skills and social skills,' said Hunter. 'And they meet new kids. It's very beneficial, and it's all for a good cause. I think the Tigard schools have excellent music programs.'

As the parent of a sophomore in the band, Hunter is also getting a lesson in the changing of the guard.

As kids move in and out of the music program at THS upon graduation, parents of incoming musicians must get involved to carry on the proud tradition of helping to keep the program alive.

Other fund-raisers throughout the year include selling poinsettias and recycling trees at Christmas, selling concessions at games, performing at Barnes and Noble at Washington Square in return for a portion of sales, selling scrip, receiving a portion of Albertson's registered shoppers' receipts and selling advertising on the band's equipment trailer.

For fun, the band will be marching in the Middle of Millen Drive Independence Day Parade on July Fourth.

'It's a way of saying thank you to the neighborhood for listening to the band practice for two weeks starting in mid-August and also after school,' Hunter said.

The THSBAPO fireworks booths will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through the Fourth.