By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
PICAYUNE — The Poplarville High School’s “Green Machine Band Booster Club” is a 150 plus member organization of which primary responsibilities are to support the band director and to raise money for the band program, which includes grades 6 through 12, and the color guard and dance team. “With the dance team we will be marching with close to 90 students,” said Band Director Josh Tidwell. “The boosters are really one of the most important aspects behind the scenes. Without the parents help fundraising to provide props, instrument repairs and uniforms for the department we would have a challenge to say the least.” Officers are: President Sommer Tynes; Vice President Lee Stewart; Secretary Lynel Krieger-Stewart and Treasurer Dana Jordan. “We are a tight group; we all work together sewing buttons on uniforms and baking. In today’s world there are so many homes in which both parents work. Even though many of us do, there is always someone that can give their time in some way and all of those small amounts of time contributed adds up,” said Tynes. “Most parents have kids in the band. I have a step-daughter in there but even if I didn’t, I would still support the band through the boosters because I know it is that important. I grew up playing in my school band. It was an excellent opportunity to build self-esteem,” said Krieger-Stewart. “The kids are very excited. With the current band director we have almost doubled (in size) in the last three years. Mr. Tidwell engages the students, chooses good music that they want to play and awards them for accomplishments,” Krieger-Stewart continued. “We refer to our band as our band family. These students love each other and the community supports them. It is a pride thing. This is an exciting time for everyone connected to the band. We are growing and thriving. Of course with growth comes challenges. Since Josh Tidwell came on board, the high school band has increased significantly — the band’s needs have increased in direct proportion to that growth,” said Tynes. One of the challenges Tynes is referring to the is the band’s need to get new uniforms. “Our current uniforms are almost 30-years-old and we are trying to raise money for a updated design. Each uniform will cost approximately $285, and we will need to purchase 100 units. $30,000 is the amount we will try to raise. We are not talking about pennies, but this is doable,” said Krieger-Stewart. “We begin fund raising with a booth at the Blueberry Jubilee, where we sell baked goods. We have coke and candy sales. We work with local businesses where we will get a certain percentage of profits for people purchasing there. We also have a community calendar that we produce.” She said anyone who would like to become a patron of the band through a contribution can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.