On July 24th, 2014, the former treasurer of the Watkins Memorial Band Boosters was charged with stealing more than $67,000 from the group over a 4 year period. The Watkins Memorial Marching Band program had been suffering financially for several years, the reason for the funding shortfall was always thought to be poor fundraising efforts. As a result of the financial situation, the students have been forced to use instruments that are long past their expected lifespan, and many are non-functional and ill fitting.
After the charges were made public, a major drum manufacturer and a local retailer partnered up to make the WM Drumline an unprecedented offer: They will help us replace approximately $22,000 worth of equipment at a cost to us of $6,500. We have agreed to move forward with this opportunity, but we need your help! We only have a few weeks to raise our portion of the cost. Once we meet the $6,500 need, we will begin to work towards new keyboard instruments for our front ensemble. Our current Xylophones, Vibraphones, and Marimbas are 15-25 years old.
We have a longstanding belief in the Watkins Memorial Drumline that we raise the money for the things we need, as opposed to using the general booster fund. This focus on personal responsibility is something our students and staff take very seriously.
To look at our equipment, you'd never know how old it is. Our kids pride themselves on taking the utmost care of whatever equipment they are given. Our bass drums are entering their 14th season, and our snares are entering their 10th. We have several keyboard instruments that are more than 20 years old. We have done the best we can with what we have, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep this equipment show-ready.
You can read more about the charges here: WBNS 10TV: Former Booster Club Treasurer Charged With Stealing Thousands