Marching Middies band uses new arena to raise funds for new uniforms

The marching pride of Middletown needs new uniforms, and for the first time band backers are using the city’s new sports arena to raise money.

Backers of the Middletown High School marching band will be the beneficiaries of the Middie Craft & Vendor Show — a giant crafts fair Sunday at the school’s Wade E. Miller Arena, which opened a year ago.

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“The Middie Craft & Vendor Show came to fruition in large part due to our brand new, state-of-the-art Wade E. Miller Arena,” said Middletown Schools spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle.

“The Middletown High School Music Boosters were looking for an exciting way to raise money for band uniforms and they’ve considered craft shows in the past, but our district didn’t have a great venue for such an event. Now we do,” said Beadle of the expansive, brightly colored arena that has become a premier, prep sport venue in Southwest Ohio.

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The current uniforms for the 110 members of the Marching Middletown Middies are long-past due for replacing, said Chasity Blevins, president of Middletown Musical Arts Club — the music boosters group for Middletown High School.

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The band garb is 12 years old, but the usual usage lifespan is seven years, said Blevins.

Originally the band boosters’ idea of a craft show with vendors’ booths throughout the new arena was projected to include about 30 vendors selling their wares. But band supporters have been pleasantly surprised to find that more than twice as many vendors have signed up to appear.

“Our craft show has created a lot of buzz already and is much bigger than expected for our first show,” said Blevins.

She said “100 percent of the proceeds from booth rentals will go to our uniform fund and we will also be holding a raffle and have concession. 100 percent of all profit from the raffle and concession will also go to our uniform fund. Raffle prizes will be donated from community members as well as the majority of our vendors,” said Blevins.

Band boosters conduct many fund raising events every year to off-set the costs of the band, its travel to local and regional competitions and other related expenses.

New uniforms are expected to cost $45,000 to $50,000 and boosters have raised $28,000 so far, according to Blevins.

“The Marching Band is a vibrant part of the Middletown Community, proudly representing our school through local competitions, performances, and parades. They attend every home football game and most away games. The Marching Band inspires school spirit and enhances community image,” she said.

“Our uniform moms have kept these uniforms in great condition but after so many alternations, and adding fabric to smaller uniforms to make them bigger, making larger uniforms smaller to fit someone else … but it’s time for new uniforms,” Blevins said.

The craft show, which is at the high school arena at 601 N. Breiel Blvd, is open to the public at no charge and will run Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will include the sale of raffle tickets for $1 each or six for $5.

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