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Rutgers: Band Uniforms and Money, a sign of the real issue


A while back, we did a series on the marching band.  It included information about the fundraising effort to get money to buy some 300 new uniforms as the band prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

And there's a story on the RU Athletics website on the effort.  But the biggest thing I took from the story, is that the fundraising isn't done.  The goal hasn't been reached.  And for me, that's a sad state of affairs.

The story states that the band has:

most -- but not quite all -- of the necessary $175,000 needed to purchase 300 new uniforms raised.

Why not?  Why are they still looking for the money?  As the story goes on to say:

But the fundraising campaign, launched as a partnership with Rutgers Athletics and the Mason Gross School of the Arts has not yet reached its goal.

That campaign ran from January through March, with support from band alumni, donors and friends of Rutgers Athletics, putting the project within 10 percent of meeting the necessary funding.

I love the fact that Athletics and Mason Gross worked together.  But here we are in almost mid-April - less than five months from when those new uniforms will be put on for the first time - and we're still short about $18,000.  We're still looking for the money.

And that's my problem, that's my beef, that's why my sense is that we have a ways to go as a university community to compete with the B1G boys.

At other schools, generous donors - people who believe in the school, in athletics, in "the program" - would have already written that check, just to get it done. I'm not saying that there haven't been bigger donors to date.  But at other places with a history and tradition of alumni and friends contributing, you'd never see a story saying we're still short of funds at this point in time.  Raise $175K?  Find two or three big supporters and you'll have half of it raised - either them giving or them making a few phone calls - in a matter of days.

We talk about needing friends and fans, private citizens, and corporations to step up to support the anticipated new construction.  For that, we're talking millions.  We're still trying to raise the last $18K for band uniforms.

We have a lot of growing up to do as fans and donors.