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GMS band to host second annual mattress sale

Shoppers of a new mattress can perhaps look no further than the Greenville Middle School cafeteria as one of GMS band’s more successful—and unorthodox—fundraisers is set to make a return this weekend.

The second annual mattress sale fundraiser will be held Saturday, and GMS band director Chris Pryor said that he would wholeheartedly agree with the odd nature of his program’s fundraiser, even in its second year.

When a colleague of his recommended the idea, he initially wrote it off as a bit too farfetched.

“It sounded like something you need to buy in a store or online,” Pryor said.

“But the company, Custom Fundraising Solutions, are able to keep the cost down by not having a store.”

Pryor said that the company will transform the middle school’s cafeteria into a mobile showroom of sorts, in which shoppers will have a chance to test mattresses that are priced up to 50 percent below retail.

“They’re able to use your cafeteria so they don’t have to pay for lights, rent or anything like that,” he added. “And they’re able to save the community money while providing money to the band.”

And in 2016, that’s exactly what Custom Fundraising Solutions did for the Greenville Middle School band.  Twenty-four mattresses were sold to the tune of a $2,500 profit for the band.

Pryor said that, given the numerous expenses that the band incurs on a yearly basis, last year’s mattress sale proved an enormous help.

“Most of our kids have to buy our smaller instruments, like clarinets, flutes and trumpets,” Pryor said. “But we try to stock the bigger instruments for the band because they’re so expensive.  One tuba can run anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.  A baritone is around $3,000 to $4,000. 

“We also have to pay for subs for me on those days.  We also have to pay for basically all of our equipment, such as stands. The only thing the county provides for us is the room and the furniture in the room, minus the stands.  Everything else we to fundraise for, and when they’re old and worn out we have to replace them.”

Students also receive a nice incentive courtesy of Custom Fundraising Solutions, as well.

“What’s really neat about this company is that they actually give the children a sort of commission, too,” Pryor said.  “The kids give out flyers with their names on them. And if a customer come back and by a mattress and hand them that flyer, then that kid gets $25 per mattress that they sell.  It goes from $25 to $50, and then $100 with a third mattress sale.”

The sale will kick off at the Greenville Middle School cafeteria at 8 a.m., and will continue until 5 p.m.

“If you need a mattress, it’s a good place to look just to get some ideas, and maybe help the band out in the process,” Pryor said.