The thought of an award-winning marching band typically doesn't include tattered, 13-year-old uniforms.
However, the Delaware Hayes High School marching band represented Delaware -- in their old uniforms -- in two competitions this year and left with superior ratings from the judges.
Now, the school's Cadence Club hopes to make the band's outfits match its contest scores.
The club is conducting a uniform campaign to raise $57,000 for 150 new uniforms by February 2013. Over the past two years, the group has managed to bring in around $20,000; now, members are asking for the community's support to make up the difference.
Mary Bowe, fundraiser spokeswoman and the mother of two band members, said the club raised the money it has via car washes, door-to-door requests and other methods.
"We are asking the community to step up and support the band," Bowe said. "The uniforms we have are falling apart at the seams."
Band director Andy Doherty met with a designer who has put together a one-of-a-kind uniform for the band. Doherty said the designer is "one of the best in the world."
Doherty added the band has had one of the most successful seasons in school history and is striving to do even better.
"Uniforms are a huge part of the band's visual identity and image, and every time someone donates, the band knows that the community supports and appreciates how hard they are working," he said.
The marching band performs at football games, Delaware's Fourth of July parade, state competitions and other community events.
The new uniforms will not be made out of wool, which will enable the students to wear them year-round.
"The band is an extension of the football team and they are an important part of our community," Bowe said. "We want them to look nice when they are representing Delaware."
Bowe also said many people feel connected to the band even if they don't have children in school or if they didn't graduate from Delaware themselves.
"I had a woman in the community donate money to us because she wanted to support kids who are doing something positive," she said. "She didn't grow up here, but she believes in what the band does."
Businesses also can sponsor uniforms, which cost $395 each, in exchange for verbal recognition and having their name or business logo displayed on a banner at Hayes High School home football games.
Bowe said people who donate to the fundraiser will get to see the uniforms as the band plays in the community.
"You're not donating to something far away," she said. "You will get to see them and get a sense of pride that you helped to put them in those uniforms."
To donate to the fundraiser, call Bowe at 740-815-8238.