By Leslie Spector
Williamston Post staff writer
All the scrap metal that has been stored in basements was finally put to good use. The Williamston High School marching band hosted its second annual scrap metal fundraiser on Oct. 26-27 at the southwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Zimmer Road.
“I read an article about another band in our area who had done a scrap metal drive,” said Vicki Schneider, Williamston band boosters president. “The boosters team talked about it and thought it would be a good idea.”
Last year, the fundraiser drew in more than $10,000. This year, booster members and band students hope to raise $5,000 for uniforms for the 2014 marching season.
The team presented this idea to the school board and received support from students and parents at the meeting.
“When I became present and realized how old our uniforms were, we decided to give the fundraiser a go for the second time,” Schneider said. “I spearheaded the fundraiser and created a team of people who were willing to learn and do the work. The booster and community supported it and we had an amazing fundraiser.”
In addition to the variety of scrap metal and junk cars the drive collected, precious metals were added to the list this year. Gold, silver, broken or unwanted jewelry and coins were also accepted.
Booster members teamed up with Bill’s Wrecker and Radiator, a local towing company that helped pick up junk cars people were willing to donate.
“Bill has donated his time and service to help out the band,” Schneider said. “We are very thankful.”
Preparation for the fundraiser took a number of hours and required a lot of meetings. Many volunteers were needed for public relations and for contacting residents who needed pick-up service. Schneider one group of parents with trucks and trailers to pick up scrap metal and a second group who contacted local businesses such as auto shops and heating and cooling shops that saved scrap metal for the fundraiser.
“We improved the system this year,” said Lynn Kelsey, marching band director. “The parent volunteers and Vicki did a great job at organizing and putting together the fundraiser. I’m ecstatic for the students to get their new uniforms.
Items such as old pool chairs, washing machines, Christmas decorations, satellites, grills and microwaves were among the bigger donations.
Scrap metal was picked up by Friedland Industries where it was weighed, sorted and priced out. According to Schneider, this could take about 10 days so the booster team is patiently waiting to see if they reached its goal.
“All this metal is going to give me a brand new button on my uniform when I’m a freshman,” said Rick Shane, a 7th grader at Williamston Middle School. “I’m really excited.”