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Transportation Team

O’Fallon Township High School, IL

600 S Smiley St, O'Fallon, IL, USA
O’Fallon Township High School District 203
Director: Melissa Gustafson-Hinds
Category: Parent Booster Recruitment
Award: Gold, 2020

Project Description

This is a volunteer group formed by the O’Fallon Panther Band Booster members. These individuals are responsible for moving all equipment year round for the program and assisting with any needs. These needs include creating props for the marching band show, moving props on and off the field during events, and transporting our instruments to and from events. These individuals put in numerous hours during rehearsals and on weekends to improve the environment of the band facilities such as the maintenance of equipment and repairs to the band room. These members always do whatever it takes to get the task done for the band directors and band members. The members of this group consist of military members and engineers who think fast on their feet and in a progressive manner at all times. They have never refused a project, no matter what the challenges are in their way. They have made the dreams come true for this program. Who else can move a tarp across a football field in 2 minutes?!

Target Audience

The transportation team affects the students at OTHS by providing a supportive atmosphere. They make sure all the moving parts of the band such as props and instruments are always accounted for. They are also parents of students in the band and help students with any problems they face. The transportation team is always at competitions to not only help out but support the children performing. They invest many hours into the activity to make sure it runs smoothly and effectively. The group also creates an outlet for band parents to connect with their kid behind the scenes at shows but connect with other parents experiencing the same thing with their child.

Overview of planning and execution process for this project

There is a lead transportation coordinator that communicates with the band booster board during the year. The transportation coordinator organizes competition dates and transportation between events during the year. This is based on the schedule the band booster board has given to them. The band booster board also gives the coordinator the budget for the year for the transportation team. The coordinator determines what the transportation team needs for the year and determines that with budget. They then gives that information to the board. After communicating constantly with the board, they then shares that information with the rest of the team to perform tasks for the year.

Community Impact

The Transportation Team is a huge reason why our marching band has been so successful in the past couple of years. There is no doubt that one of the reasons our band has stood out recently is because of our giant tarps, and without the group of parents who figured out the logistics of that, our shows, as we know them, would not have existed. Additionally, during all of the years that they have been active, they have been a good connection between the students and the rest of the band parents. Working so closely with the students on the field during rehearsals, competitions, etc., they are able to better understand and communicate to other parents what that experience is like. Students also often have to help assemble and move props, and they learn a lot about the practical applications of different components of physics, construction, and engineering. As previously stated, our transportation team is known around the country, and many people within the school and community look up to them and what they have accomplished.

Overall budget


Specific Budget Breakdown

This is a volunteer-based organization. Everyone on the team has a certain skill or talent that allows the team to cut costs on props or transportation during the season. We have welders, engineers, carpenters, and many more who donate their time and resources to make sure the band is successful.

New or recurring project?


How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?

We have had our transportation team for years now, but every year what we ask of them tends to increase/become more complicated. So they have had to become more creative and innovative to match the shows that we are trying to do and the events we are trying to pull off. However, every time they manage to go above and beyond the already high expectations we have for them.

Challenges/obstacles that were encountered

Every year and show comes with its own obstacles. For the past two marching band shows, we have tarped the entire football field, and getting those tarps on and off in less than 2 minutes was definitely a logistical challenge for our parents. However, our team has a vast amount of experience and skills that make them particularly well-suited for the task. In addition to figuring out how to get the tarps on the fields, the transportation team had to actually do the work themselves. Every show, approximately 15-20 parents would roll our 4 tarps that each weighed about 1000 pounds. In our second year with the tarps, we also added poles on top of the tarp, and fabric was attached from pole to pole and would be raised up and down. Figuring out how to keep the poles from falling over from being too top heavy, how to make the heavy fabric manageable for kids to raise by pulling rope, and how to keep the fabric secure on the poles but then easy to release at the end of the show were just a couple of the challenges that the transportation team had to overcome last year. The reason that all of these feats were possible is that the parents refuse to give up. They will work and work to find a solution for whatever the band needs. There is always great leadership within the team that inspires everyone to work together and do their best.

Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?

The Transportation Team is one of the most successful components of the O’Fallon Panther Band Boosters. The group and their reputation have grown every year as they accomplish bigger and bigger feats. Everyone wants to be involved in the group because they are a determined, hard-working, and dedicated. Many military families move into our school district and join the band, and a lot of those parents tend to join the transportation team because of the camaraderie and like-mindedness they find within the group.

Without the transportation team, our band program would not be able to accomplish all of the things it does. Our marching band shows would not have such innovative and effective props, and we would not be able to host or attend all of the events we do without having parents to help transport all of our instruments, equipment, etc. Our transportation team is known nationally in the marching band community for their hard work and good-natured attitudes.

Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?

One of the most important things you need to have an effective and successful transportation team is a dedicated leader. The man who led our team for the past 7 years was a go-getter and hard worker, and his determination and positivity were integral to the success of other members and the team as a whole. The person you have in charge of an organization has a huge effect, so you need someone who is always going to be the first to volunteer to help or try something new.

Another reason that our transportation team has been so successful is because we have created a culture at O’Fallon where challenges are not reasons to give up. We never look at a problem and see it as unconquerable. We always say that we’ll find a way to figure it out because we always have in the past. It is important for a transportation team who might be asked to tarp a whole field in 2 minutes to not have a defeatist attitude.

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