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East County Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 12 years ago

Band boosters create Mustang Mania

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — The Lakewood Ranch High School Band Booster Association is hoping to drum up support for fine arts and other programs at Lakewood Ranch High School.

Lakewood Ranch High School’s campus will be transformed into a family friendly festival as the Booster Association hosts the first ever Mustang Mania event Oct. 17-18. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Oct. 17, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 18, at the school’s bus loop. It will feature live performances by bands such as The Steel River Band and Bosshawg, about 20 different games for children and families, bounce houses, hair cuts, an assortment of food, vendors selling crafts and other items and other activities.

Additionally, a carnival will be onsite but separate from the other activities.

Entrance to the festival is free. Tickets for games can be purchased for 50 cents, and most activities will cost one ticket, Booster Association Co-President Cathy Howze said. Carnival ride tickets will be sold separately.

“All the profits are going toward the programs for the school, and I think it’s going to be a good time for the entire family,” event chairman Murray Miller said. “The whole point is the county’s hurting for money, and we’re trying to take responsibility to keep these programs moving forward. We hope people will come out and support the school and what it has to offer. It’s going to be a great time.”

Miller said he came up with the idea for the festival about two years ago when he realized other parents of marching band students were struggling to pay for band expenses because of job loss and other financial difficulties. Having one giant fundraiser, he thought, would bring in the income needed to help cover expenses for families.

“You can’t sell candy bars when you have parents looking for jobs,” Miller said.

Miller’s idea didn’t catch on right away, but with more economic woes in sight, the association this year decided to take a leap of faith. The organization now is hoping the Mustang Mania event will generate about $20,000 or at least enough to cover it expenses, which are estimated to be between $7,000 and $10,000, Howze said.

Proceeds from the event will raise money for Lakewood Ranch’s band program as well as other fine arts programs and groups at the school choosing to participate by having a booth.

“Our community is going to benefit from this,” Miller said. “Our goal is for the kids to benefit from it. The school benefits from it, and overall, the county benefits from it. We’re trying to keep the programs alive at our school.”

A small portion of the proceeds from each fundraising group will go toward paying for the event, but most monies will go directly to the organizations raising funds.

Howze said her organization also is trying to get as many businesses and organizations as possible involved.

“We’re trying to get the school involved and getting the businesses in the area to buy back into their school and get involved,” she said. “With this economy the way it is, nobody’s doing fun stuff. We’re really hoping (this event) becomes a success and that we can do it yearly.”

Businesses who would like to participate or sponsor the event, should contact Miller at 932-3052.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

Mustang Mania
: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Oct. 17; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Oct. 18
WHERE: Lakewood Ranch High School, 5500 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
COST: Free
TICKETS: Mustang Mania tickets for food and games cost 50 cents each. Carnival ride tickets also will be sold.
BENEFICIARY: Lakewood Ranch High School Band Booster Association and other fine arts programs and Lakewood Ranch High School organizations.
SPONSORSHIPS: Murray Miller, 932-3052

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