By JANE BECKERDITE
Cathy Smith is a determined woman.
She wants the students at Genoa Central High School to have proper sheet music, instruments and dress uniforms like most school bands.
“My granddaughter, Leigha, was in the band from 8th grade through 12th grade. She is now in her second year of college. My grandson, Landon, is in the band now. I have been to every football game, every concert since Leigha was in the 8th grade. I can raise this money. I want these kids to have what they need,” Smith said.
What the students primarily need is uniforms because right now they’re essentially wearing jeans or hand-me-down uniform shirts when they perform on the field. Smith believes this to be unfair for the students and, as such, started a “GoFundMe” account with a $5,000 fundraising goal.
GoFundMe allows users like Smith to create a website to describe what they are raising money for – in this case it’s band uniforms, sheet music, instruments and anything else the band might need. During this process, members enter the fundraising cause, the amount of money they hope to raise, and can even upload photos or video. Once the website is created, GoFundMe allows users to share their project with people through social network links like Facebook or Twitter and email.
People can then donate to a user’s cause through the GoFundMe website and track the progress of their funding. People who donate can also leave comments on the website in support of the project. GoFundMe generates its revenue by automatically deducting a 5 percent transaction fee from each donation a user receives. If the user receives no donations, then no charge is made.
Wayne Bryant, who just received a Genoa Central Alumni award and is a former Genoa School Board Member, told Smith about an upcoming school board meeting in July. Smith said, she definitely plans to attend.
“I think these kids have just never had a voice or anyone willing to be that voice. That’s going to be me,” she said.
A few of the band students do have uniform shirts, but even those have been passed down for many years and most of them are getting threadbare.
Smith said she knows that band director, Joseph Dupas, buys a lot of needed items out of his own pocket and added that she has his blessing to hold the fundraiser.
“I chose a goal of $5,000 because after the last band concert, I approached Mr. Dupas and asked if there was anything I could do to raise funds. He said they had tried a little of everything and nothing was working very well,” she explained.
Smith then asked, “Would $5,000 do it?”
“Boy, would it!” Dupas replied. “We might get some uniforms! And maybe send some kids to band camp!”
To participate in Genoa Central High School’s Band Fundraiser, go to its GoFundMe website at http://www.gofundme.com/9jfn3o.