The familiar plumed hats of the Amherst Marching Comets have been used longer than any of the band members have been alive.
Now the Amherst Band Boosters are asking for your help to replace the old headgear.
“The hats were purchased in 1996, so they’re going into their 22nd year on the marching field this fall. They’re getting to the point where they’re starting to come apart,” said band parent Jeff Rakar.
His daughter Brianna is a sophomore trumpet-player in the Steele High marching band. Twin seventh-graders Chloe and Ashley are also band members at Amherst Junior High.
Band uniforms have changed over the years, with the last purchase coming in 2004 but not including new hats. New plumes were bought last year with booster funds.
Each hat costs $65. It will cost $9,100 to buy the 140 needed to outfit the band.
A hat drive will kick off with a Festival of Bands fundraising concert at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 6 at the Steele gymnasium, featuring both high school and junior high bands. Rakar said alumni will have a table at the festival with band memorabilia collected over the years.
Admission is free but donations will be welcome.
You can also hop online to give at https://www.youcaring.com/amherstmarchingband-763672 (for a shorter link, visit http://goo.gl/t0eoEb).
Donors’ names will go on tags inside the hats to remind students who supported them.
Anything raised in excess of $9,100 will be earmarked for other clothing purchases.
While the 13-year-old band uniforms are in decent shape, raincoats are starting to rip and are hard to march in. If hat donations are enthusiastic, Rakar said new raincoats would be the next logical step.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.