Pride of the Lake Marching Band gathers 10,000 pounds of clothing in fundraising effort

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Camdenton students help load the truck carrying 10,000 pounds of clothing gathered by the boosters.

10,000 pounds of clothing. That’s a number that is hard to imagine, but for the Pride of the Lake Marching Band in Camdenton, it’s a number they were able to achieve. 

Camdenton teacher and boosters leader Clara Druck Bennion says she had the idea pitched to her through an email from a member of the FUNDrive team. This member is a lake home owner and was familiar with the work the marching band had done. She hoped to provide a way for the band to generate some funds for competition. 

FUNDrive describes its purpose as a way to “help local nonprofits—such as schools, sports teams, community groups and other charitable organizations—generate revenue to support their missions.”

After discussing the idea with other booster parents, Clara says the district got to work spreading the word about donations. The goal was to gather as many clothing items as possible to donate to FUNDrive, who would pay out 20 cents per pound of clothing provided. These donations would go on to help low-income families in major Missouri cities.

Clara says that students started hanging flyers, spreading the word to friends and family, and were even able to get Superintendent Tim Hadfield to send out information on a district-wide level. 

The band held four separate donation drives throughout the last few months, including winter concerts and during the Jingle Bell 5k. They also sourced a number of clothing items from the Laker Closet, which is a clothing surplus used by the district to give students clothing who are in need. This includes dress-up clothing like button-up shirts and prom dresses.

Once all gathering was completed, Clara says they gathered a total of 10,030 pounds of clothing, equating to $2,006. The clothing was all put in bags and stuffed into a district-supplied truck. Somehow, Clara says they were able to get all pieces of clothing into the same truckload that was driven to St. Louis for dropoff.

All students involved in the process were given a little extra from the funds raised for their personal band account, and the rest was put into a general fund. 

Clara says it was amazing to see the kids come together and work towards such a high output. With dozens of kids helping at various points throughout, she was happy to report the overall success of the operation.

“It’s amazing to see what this community can do when they are asked to rally around these students,” Clara said.

The booster team will be hosting another clothing drive between April and May with the goal to deliver another load in June. The funds will go towards the same general fund for the Pride of the Lake Marching Band.