Long City Limits
Six years ago, JL Long Middle School had a principal with a vision. She tasked us with creating an annual fundraiser event for our school that was unique to band and engaged the community in a meaningful way. Due to that vision, the JL Long Band created an event called Long City Limits. It is an annual fundraising event every October that brings our middle school (6th-8th) students together with the community and local live bands to put on a music festival to raise funds for the band.
Students in 6th through 8th grades participate in this fundraising event by helping find community sponsorships, helping with food catering set-up, band merchandise set-up, and by helping the stage hands move equipment and work the sound board and light boards. The student led drum line performs outside the venue to create excitement and encourage local shoppers and diners to stop in and check out our event.
Over the summer, students and parents of the Boosters reach out to area businesses for donations and raffles. Donations are collected by our Booster chairs and sponsors receive benefits such as space on our t-shirts, recognition on our slide show, and recognition on our concert programs and at every performance we have throughout the year. Our goal every year is to raise at least $10,000 (after expenses) and we have surpassed that goal for 3 out of the 6 years we have been doing this event! Over the course of Long City Limits, we have raised over $50,000 for the band program and all of those funds get funneled directly back to the students. The budget received through the school district is limited and the funds raised through Long City Limits help provide instruments and services to our students. Through this fundraiser specifically, the boosters have been able to acquire new instruments such as tubas and percussion equipment, new music stands and chairs, and private lessons for all students who have requested them and are in financial need.
This event also incorporates our local community bands by performing for our students and community members to expose them to what music can look like after they leave high school. We have bands ranging in styles and genres to represent all the different types of music our community members, students included, are interested in. We also are able to host this amazing event at one of our communities most historic performance venues, The Granada Theater. We also have one to two student bands perform on stage to start the show each year. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of our students and they talk about the event for months after. It’s a great way to start of each school year and garner recognition for not only our band program, but our local musicians and businesses who give back throughout the year. It’s always a great time and I look forward to it each year!
Overview of planning and execution process for this project
Sponsors/charities/volunteers/ other groups involved in the project and the benefits to each.
Specific Budget Breakdown
- Venue Rental (Granada Theater)- $1000
- Sign printing costs- $150 (much of the cost outside the $150 is donated by our community)
- T-Shirt printing- $500
- Band Payments- $850 (payments for 3 local live bands)
New or recurring project?Recurring
How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?
Challenges/obstacles that were encountered
Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?
The following is what we raised after all expenses were paid:
- 2013 = $4292.00
- 2014 = $5602.13
- 2015 = $5421.12
- 2016 = $10012.23
- 2017 = $10989.76
- 2018 = $12124.09
The funds increased substantially after we moved our event from an outdoor event to an indoor event and after we began reaching out to our community sponsors during the summer utilizing both parents and students.
The following is the attendance we’ve experienced over the years as well:
- 2013 = 89
- 2014 = 121
- 2015 = 113
- 2016 = 214
- 2017 = 228
- 2018 = 248
Our attendance has steadily increased each year due to more word of mouth recognition of the event and having the event for a smaller time window so that people can fit the event into their schedules. We host our event on Sundays after church so families have a good place to go after church and we don’t have as many sports conflicts.
Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?