Not when it comes to Ward Melville High School's marching band uniforms, though.
That's why the Three Village Educational Foundation is hoping to replace the high school's marching band uniforms – which were acquired in the 1970s – with new ones that the foundation hopes will foster renewed school pride and a better experience for the students participating in the band.
Each year, the Three Village Educational Foundation chooses a project or projects to fund, and most recently has given out mini-grants to teachers who applied with project proposals. The idea for the marching band uniforms came about from the community itself, according to foundation board member Bill Connors, who is also a school board trustee.
"A number of people spoke to us about the marching band uniforms and how bad they looked," Connors said. "We saw the uniforms and we looked into it a little bit more. These things go back to the 1970s and were very uncomfortable and dated. This is something that would be of good use – a good image for the Three Village community."
The problem, Connors said, was that marching band uniforms are so expensive that it was unlikely the district itself could fund them through the school budget.
So the Three Village Educational Foundation is holding a raffle fundraiser to raise money for the new uniforms, which will cost about $365 each and total around $48,000 for the entire marching band. Raffle tickets are $100 each and the grand prize is $25,000. The foundation is only selling 500 raffle tickets. Those interested in purchasing a ticket can call Barbara Konczynin at 516-383-3110 for more information. The drawing is Nov. 7.
In the past, according to foundation president Judy McCready, the Three Village Educational Foundation held a gala to fundraise for its projects, but they found that a raffle could actually be more beneficial in raising more money.
"We really are making a difference in these young people's lives by doing this," McCready said. "We really want to achieve our goal."
Laura Gustavson, the director of the marching band, said the new uniforms "will help immensely."
"We're excited. We're at the point where it's so tiring to watch the kids tugging at the pants because they're falling down," she said. "They're worn looking and they're so hot because of the wool they have in them."
Nowadays band uniforms have evolved in the way athletic uniforms have evolved, with moisture-wicking fabrics that are much more comfortable.Gustavson said she and the students – nearly 100 of them in the marching band – are extremely grateful for the help they're getting from the foundation. Marching band was once a requirement for band students, but is now a volunteer activity that has been growing and growing in popularity, she said.
"It's a wonderful donation that they're making for us and we're very appreciative," she said.