By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Westborough – In an ongoing effort to replace worn concert gowns, tuxedos and marching band uniforms, the Westborough Fine Arts Education Association (WFAEA) is holding a 50/50 raffle to benefit their Uniform Fund Drive.
“Our goal is to replace 350 women’s concert gowns, all of the marching band uniforms and some tuxedos, which are replaced on a rolling basis. The total cost is $80,000. The school district found $50,000 in their budget that has now been allocated for this purpose and so our goal is to raise the additional $30,000 dollars needed. We are doing this through our fundraising efforts,” said Neil Feldman, president of WFAEA.
There are two ongoing fundraisers. The first is a 50/50 raffle where they will be selling 200 tickets at $50 dollars each. If all of the tickets are sold, the winner will receive $5,000 dollars and the additional $5,000 dollars will go toward the WFAEA’s goal.
The tickets were sold at various concerts throughout December. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Westborough Fine Arts Education Association’s monthly meeting Tuesday, Jan. 5.
“The second fundraising effort began when we ‘kicked off’ this fundraising effort at a concert in November. The first president of this organization [then known as the Wesborough Music Parents Association], Nelson Ball, came up to me and offered a $5,000 matching donation,” said Feldman.
The Westborough Fine Arts Education Association was renamed about 10 years ago as it supports all of the arts within the Westborough community from kindergarten to 12th grade.
One of the reasons for doing this fundraising effort is that many of these uniforms are older than the students who are wearing them.
“We have gotten creative with how we keep some of these uniforms held together. There are pins, tape and more being used to keep some of these clothing items from literally falling apart,” said Chris Martin, director of fine arts.
Starting in February there will be another fundraiser in which a series of eight Swing Dance lessons will be offered, capped off by a dinner dance.
“You won’t have to participate in the lessons if you just want to attend the dinner dance,” said Feldman.
The artistically done posters were donated by EMSEAL, a local business who also printed the tickets.
“We are so proud of the high caliber of performances by the students. Their outfits should reflect that,” said Martin.
“The district has been recognized as the best for music education nine out of the last 15 years. The students, faculty and members of the community have all contributed to that success,” said Feldman.