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Winter weather hurts school fundraisers

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A local show choir planned to have new uniforms in time for spring competitions, but those plans were delayed after the brutal winter hurt fundraising efforts.

A recordbreaking winter has caused problems for local school programs that count on money from ticket sales and fundraisers to pay for contest entry fees and group trips.

High school choir groups take to the stage every spring in Indiana State School Music Association state finals, one after the other, most wearing tuxedos or intricate dresses. Indian Creek will compete at the event wearing polo shirts and dress pants.

The uniforms of the singers are not judged, but choir director Doug McKinley wanted his group to be on equal footing with others for uniforms.

This year, the group sold scratch-off tickets to supporters, which indicated how much they would donate. In exchange the person received coupons to local businesses. The weather delayed the fundraiser. Students weren’t able to sell tickets as quickly due to the cold weather, and that meant it took longer for the money to be collected and turned in.

“The fundraiser has taken so long, it’s too late to get (the uniforms) ordered for this spring,” McKinley said.

Center Grove’s band and choir programs also suffered because of the weather. Ticket sales to one of Center Grove’s annual spring shows were down 23 percent.

The school’s choir program brought in 22 percent less net profit from their annual Pre-Contest Show in January than in the previous year, according to information provided by the school.

The band program at Center Grove relies on concession sales from basketball games and musical events for some of its funds. Basketball games were moved to different dates because of the snow, while some were not as well-attended as normal. Concession sales were down 10 to 20 percent for the season, band director Kevin Schuessler said.

The choir program receives money from concession sales at events, such as Best of the Midwest Show Choir Invitational. Four schools did not come to that event due to poor road conditions, which led to less money from ticket and concession sales, Schuessler said.

“We may have to push some other fundraisers a little more,” Schuessler said. “But we’re very financially responsible, so we’ve set our budget conservatively and make sure we’re not tapping out the parents and community.”

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