Islay Pipe Band v. the Credit Crunch.
The credit crunch has all sorts of side effects and one of them is that some companies are less likely to spend money on sponsoring. Something similar unfortunately happened to the Islay Pipe Band. Lindy MacLellan, who is involved with fundraising for the Pipe Band, sent me the following article to call for your help. I couldn't resist and donated Â£60 and I hope most of you will donate money as well. Together we can make this work to make sure the Pipe Band will be able to visit the major competitions this year. It's important so please don't let them down!!
Lindy MacLellan: Islay Pipe Band's first season competing as a Grade 3B band has got off to a bad start with the news that one of their sponsors has had to withdraw much of its support due to the worsening financial crisis. A spokesman for Black Bottle has confirmed that the firm will continue to support the band by supplying kit and raffle prizes, but that they will not this year be able to cover the cost of travel to the 5 major competitions as they have done for the last two years.
This leaves band members with the unenviable task of having to raise the thousands of pounds needed to cover transport and accommodation costs at a time when they are working extremely hard to learn the new and much more complex material needed to compete at their new level. Continue reading....Many band members are currently giving up their own time to tutor potential new pipers and drummers - a very successful initiative which has seen 16 Islay youngsters, aged from 8 to 22 years old, beginning to learn since the end of last year. At a time when encouraging and supporting young people is more often seen as a career choice than a community responsibilty, their hard work has to be admired. The band also pays the expenses of drumming tutor Jim Whitfield who travels to Islay regularly to help the drum corps reach the exacting standard required. With several young pipers currently studying on the mainland, Pipe Major Nigel Morris recently travelled to Edinburgh to lead a marathon practice session with them at Redford Barracks, to ensure that they will be up to speed when the academic year ends and the competition season starts.
After last year's incredible performance, when the band rose to the challenge of their first ever promotion to finish Champion of Champions at Grade 4A, there is no question of not giving it their all in 2009. To help take some of the strain, a motley crew of family members, friends and supporters of the band are launching a major fund raising bid to help plug the gap. Many funding bodies will only pay for capital costs, not travel, so there is no easy way ahead, only hard work! Watch this space for news of a programme of events to be held throughout the year, beginning with Money Bingo in Portnahaven on 3rd April. The group also intend to resurrect the 100 Club, with a cash prize every month. In addition, any local business wishing to have their details displayed on the pipe band bus over the summer months can do so by contributing to the cost of hire - all donations, large and small, are welcome and will be acknowledged.
Anyone who would like to help with fundraising will be welcomed with open arms and can contact Sheena MacMillan (01496 860279) or Andrew MacEachern (01496 850271). Alternatively, email Lindy MacLellan at firstname.lastname@example.org. With the first competition in May fast approaching there's no time to lose!