Tag Day is one of the largest fundraisers of the year in terms of time, outreach and support. In one Saturday (usually in late September), over one hundred band students and their family members reach out to over a thousand Ashburn area friends and neighbors, and seek to bring in over ten thousand dollars. All students and a parent from each family are required to participate.

A typical tag day goes something like this:

  • Everyone meets in the band room at a designated time (about 8am) to go over logistics (including a script of what to say, directions on collecting financial gifts, a door-hanger for each house, and a map of assigned area to cover)
  • A parent drives a group of students to an assigned Broad Run neighborhood, and assists with receipts and money collection as needed.
  • Students wear band clothing (i.e. show shirt) and play their instruments or provide visuals with flag/rifle; students engage people in the neighborhood (as reviewed at the morning meeting) and collect financial gifts from each house, assisted as needed by the parents (receipts, etc.). Students represent the band in the community and are expected to be positive and gracious.
  • When the assigned route is completed, the group returns to the band room to submit collected funds and receive another assignment.
  • Lunch is provided for parents and students for a time frame of a couple of hours. Snacks and water are also provided.
  • By mid-to late-afternoon (about 3 p.m.), most routes are covered, and the event ends for the day. Booster representatives and the band director will remain in the band room until all groups have returned and funds have been accounted for.

On Saturday, September 10, 2016, Broad Run High School’s Marching Spartans picked up their flags and instruments and went in to our Ashburn community for Tag Day.  About 60 students spent time spinning and playing and distributing a “tag”  — or schedule of upcoming Band events — to our friends and neighbors.  They asked in turn for gifts to support the program’s financial needs.

Video credit: Beth Roche via Twitter

The students raised just over $5,600. It was not an easy job, in the sweltering heat, to walk several miles carrying and performing with flags or instruments and to have the courage to keep knocking on doors.  But Marching Spartans are talented and work hard!  And some of them just don’t stop…one small group kept on going into the evening to share their talent and message on three more streets!

All the band students had the help of a band family behind them:  dozens of parent volunteers provided logistics, transportation, materials, motivation, and the all-important pizza lunch.

Fundraising, volunteer support and outreach are the Big Three reasons that the Band Boosters exist.  On Tag Day, the students and parents multi-tasked to do all those things at once!