Blooming Profits

Blooming Profits

Kai Kang

Poinsettia Sale Raises $12,000 for Music Department


Poinsettia Drvie Banner – Kai Kang

The ending of November brings the happy prospect of Thanksgiving, and while students and staff gather around their dinner table this weekend, the music department may have some extra thanks to give.

The annual music departmental poinsettia fundraiser drew to a close last week with over 2,350 poinsettias sold, just in time to help cover the costs of the upcoming Holiday Concert on Dec. 18. Each plant sold for $10, with half of the price going to pay off poinsettia suppliers. This leaves the music department with a little short of $12,000 in profits.

While $12,000 seems to be no small amount, it still only helps the department to alleviate some of its financial burden, which often adds up to over four times that amount in a single year. The funds generated by this year's fundraiser will be used to pay for a whole array of needs like, instrument rentals, instrument repairs, costumes, sheet music, music rentals, and professionals. Sheet music for this year's Holiday Concert alone costs the department about $4,500.

"For three nights this year at the Holiday Concert, we'll be performing the original music of Andrew Lloyd Webber," Instrumental Music Director John Galli said. "The company that rents out the music charges us $535 per piece for licensing fee and a $33 performance fee per piece each time they are performed at a concert. It adds up to about $4,500. But our kids are good enough that it's worth doing the real music, not some watered down versions for high schools."

Poinsettia distribution day on Dec. 1 will mark the culmination of efforts between students, advisors, and parent volunteers. Instrumental Music Director Jonathan Fey attributes the success of this year's fundraiser to the support of the local community.

"We are lucky in that our community supports the music program," Fey said. "Families, especially those who used to have kids in our music program, have come to expect [the poinsettia sale] every year. People are satisfied with the product. For the quality, it's cheaper than what you can find in stores, and it's a good way to support the music department."
Sales were not limited only to families. In fact, many teachers and office staff have come to expect the annual sale.

"I buy them because I like to support the band, and you get something nice out of it," administrative assistant Diana Goularte said. Goularte's office is flooded every year by students eager to make their first sales. "There are many fundraisers that sell things I don't use, but poinsettias I enjoy."

Historically, the poinsettia drive has been part of MVHS tradition for the last 26 years. Previously, it was a fundraiser organized by the Music Boosters, an organization run by parent volunteers to help support the music department. It wasn't until about 10 years ago that the music department started to run the fundraiser. Results have improved every year.

Before the poinsettia drive, the music department tried other fundraisers including cookie dough, candy, gift wrap, and even student-made pizza. None of them, however, sold like poinsettias. The music directors are well aware of how important poinsettias are to the department, and will only say that the plants were supplied by a local grower. As for which local grower…

"It's a secret," Fey and Galli said, laughing. "There are too many high schools that might copy us and give us competition."