The Hilliard Music Boosters are encouraging residents to "Bleed for the Band" on July 27.

The Hilliard Music Boosters are encouraging residents to "Bleed for the Band" on July 27.

Booster members are sponsoring blood drives with the American Red Cross to benefit the band programs at all three high schools, from 2 to 8 p.m. July 27 at Hilliard Bradley, 2800 Walker Road; Hilliard Davidson, 5100 Davidson Road and Hilliard Darby, 4220 Leppert Road.

Bill Blackhall, vice president of the Hilliard Darby boosters chapter, said walk-ins are welcome, but if possible, people are asked to register on the American Red Cross website at redcrossblood.org, in order to reduce wait times.

On the Red Cross website, click on the "Make a blood donation appointment" link, then fill in "Hilliard" for city and July 27 for the date.

Students must be 17 to donate, or 16 with a parental consent.

Blackhall said the blood drive helps people make a difference in their community. The band programs could also earn up to $1,000 for instrument purchases and expenses.

"Our goal was to get away from simply selling a product as a fundraiser," he said. "We also wanted to not only raise funds for the band programs but to give back to the community. We could not think of a better way than to partner with the American Red Cross."

He said the Red Cross almost always has blood shortages.

"Each school has the potential to raise $1,000 if they are able to get 251 pints of blood donated by the community," he said.

The schools that generate 30 to 45 pints of blood in the blood drive receive $500; 46 to 100 pints is $600; 101 to 150 pints results in $700; 151 to 200 pints is $800; 201 to 250 is $900 and 251 pints or more results in $1,000 for the school.

"This is the first of what we hope will be an annual event for the band programs," Blackhall said.

Parents can support all of the music programs in Hilliard by becoming involved with the booster organization, he said.

"We are the only booster organization that is districtwide supporting all music programs kindergarten through 12th grade," he said. "This includes general music in the elementary schools and the choir, band and orchestra programs in the middle and high schools."

Blackhall said each high school program's main source of income comes from football game concession stand proceeds.

"Parents of all students are encouraged to volunteer to man a concession stand," he said. "Each program also has a range of fundraising events from dinner concerts to tag days, where members go door to door in the community asking for donations."

He said each school also has a booster chapter meeting once a month, with two general membership meetings each year to discuss issues affecting the music programs at all of the schools.

"The other major event in our year is the Hilliard Band Invitational, held each September," Blackhall said. "The money raised from that event goes to provide scholarships for students planning on majoring in music and also goes to fund our elementary school programs."

Learn more about each high school's band programs at darbyband.org for Darby; hilliardbradleybands.org for Bradley; and davidsonbands.org for Hilliard Davidson High School.