This story originally appeared in the April 28 issue of the Community Voice. For a subscription, call 270-384-9454.
The Adair County Band Boosters organization is under new leadership this week and efforts are being made to address a financial shortfall as the upcoming year’s program also gets underway.
Band director Jordan Humphress confirmed that the organization has an outstanding debt and numerous unpaid bills. While they are still confirming the amount of debt, he confirmed that it appears it may be around $58,000.
“The good thing we have going on right now is we have a wonderful slate of officers who are working diligently, along with myself, in finding ways to make sure we get things taken care of and squared away where these students don’t have anything to worry about,” Humphress said.
During a meeting held Monday night, members elected Todd Davenport as the new president, Lindsay Bryant as vice president, Denise Cremens as treasurer, and Bobbie Huckaby as secretary.
Humphress said the organization struggled as the pandemic closed the bingo hall – its primary fundraiser – and there was also previous debt before that. They are still trying to determine how much debt has been paid off and how much remains. Finances are being reviewed in the normal auditing process and fundraisers are already taking place, he added.
School Superintendent Dr. Pamela Stephens attended the Monday night boosters meeting and said during a telephone interview that she has been working with the band director, assistant director, and officers about the boosters’ financial shortfall.
“This is not a new problem,” Stephens said. “This is something that has obviously been practiced, some unwise practices by the boosters’ association for several years. Covid certainly did not help it any. They went for a solid year where they were shut down. And their expenses are about $2,400 a month just to pay the rent and utilities.”
Stephens said according to guidelines, the boosters could choose to eliminate the formal non-profit structure currently established and run their finances through the school board, which is how some athletic organizations are operated. If the boosters choose that route, the district would pay the debt, but band boosters would be required to pay it back to the board of education as they generated the revenue.
“This year’s program is going to cost around $75,000. That’s pretty standard for the program each year,” Stephens said. “They can easily double that amount in revenue if they are running their bingo well. They aren’t going to have any problems, but they don’t have the $75,000 now – between now and October when it’s all over. It’s a way for them to move forward.”
While the financial situation was part of Monday night’s meeting, Humphress said it was also a very positive meeting and band members and boosters are excited about the upcoming program. The band program has brought home more championships than any program in Adair County and has always been a program that has tremendous support from the community.
“We are really thankful we have such a wonderful community that comes out to support us,” Humphress said.