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Countryside Colorguard Program in Critical Condition

The organization, which is completely funded by parents and boosters, is in desperate need of money or it might have to cancel its winter season.

The Countryside High School colorguard program could be cancelled without a quick infusion of cash. Credit: Cristine Kreplick
The Countryside High School colorguard program could be cancelled without a quick infusion of cash. Credit: Cristine Kreplick
By Local Editor Jeffrey Rosenfield

The Countryside High School colorguard/winterguard program is considered one of the best in the area, winning state competitions last year and getting promoted to a higher level due to its sustained success.

But now the fate of the team is up in the air, as a budget shortfall threatens to cripple the program.

According to Cristine Kreplick, the organization's vice president and fundraising chair, the colorguard program is $10,000 in the hole. Failure to plug the gap could result in the winter season being cancelled and leave the coach without a contract.

"The Winter season is the elite Colorguard and Drumline teams," Kreplick wrote Patch. "They travel around the state and compete on a high level. Guard WON competitions last year and got promoted from AA to A!"

"Now, because of budgeting challenges and fundraising shortfalls the last few years, it is in jeopardy of being cancelled."

Kreplick says the booster organization pays for everything for the band and colorguard, from uniforms and instruments to buses and competition fees.

It costs each kid about $600 in the fall and then again in the winter, and no kid is turned away even if they can't afford it; they just use booster funds to pay for the child.

Now after years of relying on the boosters' contributions, the funding has run dry. 

"Because they have NO money and are about $10k in debt..as a solution, the president and the accountant are suggesting that the Winter season is cancelled," she wrote.

"I'm determined to raise $10k really fast," she said. "I want these kids to have the same opportunity that every year before them had."

Kreplick is furiously trying to come up with ways to raise the money.

Her ideas include selling sponsorships for the concession stand and their travel trailer; selling items like gift bags, scented pencils and jerky; organizing a 5K run; and possibly setting up a collection booth at Third Friday where she can solicit silent auction items.

She has already asked the city for help, and she is hoping a big donor might come forward and bail the program out before it's too late.

"This is about a bunch of kids...who practice all year round," Kreplick wrote. "They don't have discipline issues, they don't have dress code issues. They are respectful and stay out of trouble."

"These are good kids and loving parents who are trying to do the right thing. They just need some help from the community."

To help the Countryside High School Colorguard program, email Cristine Kreplick at countrysidecristine@yahoo.com or call 727-564-3925. A budget meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Countryside High School, 3000 State Road 580. Kreplick hosts a fundraising meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, at Nolan's Pub, 230 Main St., in downtown Safety Harbor.
Bob Slob August 13, 2013 at 04:23 PM
To Bert Houghton. Do not comment on that which you know nothing about as I may be a parent of a Countryside Colorguard student.. You being a parent from a "rival school" should shut your "b hole" unlesss you know who I am... Then YOU will have a right to post. What did you play growing up Bert? Flute?
Bert Houghton August 14, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Ah, Bob Slob, resorting to insults and low brow comments. How gauche. No, I was not fortunate to play in band. It is why I appreciate the students that are able to be involved with such great activities. I have a right to post just like you. However, just do your research before you do and make valid points. Enjoy your day, Mr. Slob!
Bert Houghton August 14, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Oh, and Mr. Slob, if indeed you are a Countryside color guard parent, well, that speaks volumes as to why the program is failing. Instead of snarky remarks, how about posting your "knowledge" as to why the color guard is failing with facts and bullet points. After all, if you are a parent that attends ALL the meetings, then pray tell, enlighten us.
Bob Slob August 14, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Hey Bert, how about you telling us how your wonderful "Rival" school makes all the money to keep it such a successful program since you don't like my comment on why this one is not... After all, you surely can provide your "bullet points" since you are all knowing..
Bert Houghton August 14, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Just what I thought. You haven't any facts to post. And here I gave you the opportunity to redeem yourself and prove that you can provide and back up your claims. Oh well. That's ok. You just keep on trolling as it is obvious that is is what you excel in since you seem to have a comment on almost every article on this site. And the only true "rivalry" is you against the world. When you can have a healthy disagreement that lists facts without name calling, by all means do so. I truly would like to hear them. Until then, Ta Ta and have a happy day!

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