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Island Theme Fundraiser For Music Programs
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Prepare to be “shipwrecked” and party, island style.

The Oakdale Music Boosters (OMB) is holding its first island-themed “Shipwrecked” fundraising event on Saturday, April 5 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Gene Bianchi Community Center. The “Shipwrecked” 21 years-and-over fundraiser will feature all you can eat island cuisine, live music, and live and silent auctions.

“The Oakdale (school) bands have almost twice as many students in them now as they did a few years ago but not twice the extra revenue coming in from booster events, so it’s time to add another fundraiser,” said Ross McGinnis, Oakdale Joint Unified School District Music Director. “This is (OMB’s) first 21-and-over dinner dance and we wanted to do something different than the norm, like include a roast pig and have a menu focused primarily on island-style cuisine. We are an organization related with music, so it makes sense to run two live bands in addition to a deejay. H-B will be hosting the cash bar, and we’ll have ongoing raffles and door prize giveaways throughout the evening.”

“There’s going to be great music, great food, and I think everyone will have a great time,” added James Markel, OMB interim president.

He said that there are some similar, successful events put on by local booster clubs and that OMB hopes to raise at least $10,000 from the event. An infusion like that can really help the OJUSD music programs.

“We support the high school’s choir, band, and colorguard, also the junior high’s choir, band, and colorguard, and all four elementary sites (music programs),” Markel said.

He reported that that because the band programs are growing at each level, the demand for more instruments, which are quite expensive, has grown. He said that they are looking long term to purchase some new instruments to meet the needs of the students. Further, instruments must be cleaned, tuned, and have other services performed.

Markel added that the Oakdale High School Marching Band also needs new uniforms. The uniforms are quite old and the OMB has purchased new pants and added “bibbers” to help update them but the piecemeal approach only can go so far. New uniforms carry a price tag of about $50,000.

The OMB also provides scholarships to student musicians for summer music camp at CSU Stanislaus and with the passing of OMB president Dave Snyder earlier this year, the OMB wants to help fund a full summer music camp scholarship in his memory, with matching funds provided by the music program director at CSUS.

Markel said that the OMB and the OJUSD music program have had great support from the people of the community and hopes that the support continues by turning out for this event.

“The Bianchi Center is a beautiful, modern venue and gives us plenty of space for a rock band, a steel drum band, auction items, limbo contest and island décor, all in the same space,” McGinnis added. “Dinner will be served family style (by table) and will include tropical barbecue chicken, island rice and beans, as well as salad and Filipino-style whole hog, (also known as) Lechon Cebu, as the grand appetizer.”

Some of the auction items include sets of San Francisco Giants tickets for three different games, golf for four, a photography package, Gallo Center tickets, numerous gift cards to area restaurants, an extra-large fireworks package, and more.

Tables seat up to eight castaways and tickets are $50 each. They are available at Steves Chevrolet and Haidlen Ford at the cashier’s desks, or may be purchased by credit card over the phone by calling OMB interim president Markel at (209) 499-0140.

Tickets are available at the door the night of the event, but those who purchase pre-sale tickets are eligible for an additional drawing. Oakdale band students can also provide order forms for tickets. OMB accepts cash, check or credit cards for admission, drinks, auction items, and also for donations.

Markel noted that volunteers are needed to help with set up and serving. For anyone interested in volunteering, contact him at the above phone number. Proceeds from the event benefit the music programs in OJUSD schools and the Dave Snyder Memorial Scholarship.