The past 8 years have seen Gulf Coast Sound make steady and admirable strides forward. Our performance quality has increased exponentially since our debut in 2002 and the management and instructional staff are now organized the most efficient way conceivable based on our hard-earned experience. The future is very bright for GCS.
Unlike most drum & bugle corps that Gulf Coast Sound competes with, GCS is not able to run a financially viable bingo or other large scale revenue generating operation. With time this may change, but for the foreseeable future it is our reality. Further adding to our operational burden is the fact that GCS is one of a small handful of Corps that travel nearly 8,000 miles each season to compete. More than 80% of our annual budget is devoted to housing and transportation. This leaves almost nothing to pay for the purchase of equipment that the Corps needs. We are blessed to have an adequate number of bugles in excellent condition. However, some of our battery percussion equipment is 10-15 years old, and we’ve only had funds to purchase the most meager of pit percussion instruments prior to the 2008 season.
The management staff of GCS stretches every penny, ensuring that we get the absolute most out of it. The Corps routinely sews our own guard flags and shops at Wal-Mart for guard uniforms. Members donate money above and beyond their dues to purchase sticks, mallets, heads, and other gear to keep our aging drums functioning. Everyone understands that every penny is critical and we’ve become quite innovative in finding alternative methods to most issues in lieu of spending money.
However, as the Corps grows and becomes more competitive we are realizing that better quality equipment will need to be procured in the very near future for that growth to continue. This is part of the reason and strategy behind the foundation of “The Friends of GCS.”
As you know, Gulf Coast Sound members take tremendous pride in our GCS star. It is something that only members can wear and it is earned with months of dedication, sweat, and hard work. We thought it appropriate to include our star somewhere in our premier financial support organization. So, the motto for the “Friends” is “Astrum Sodalitas”. Loosely translated from Latin, Astrum Sodalitas means “Star Fellowship”.
Our vision for the Friends is simple: for your financial support of GCS we will do the following:
In return, we ask that you commit to a quarterly donation of $100. This works out to only $400 annually, far less than the typical amount that all members pay in dues. While not a seemingly large sum of money, it will make a world of difference for the Corps as the Friends organization grows over the years. All of the proceeds generated through the Friends will be dedicated to purchasing instruments, uniforms, and support equipment for the Corps. Our member dues and fundraising efforts will continue to pay for the instructional staff, writing staff, housing, and transportation for the Corps. Of course, 100% of your contributions will be tax deductible.
If you are interested in participating for the 2010 season please visit: . Signing up will allow us to begin the enrollment process and have your polo shirt mailed to you. The quarterly newsletter and other information will follow soon after.
Thank you for your consideration and please know that your generous monetary contributions will have a tremendous impact as GCS strives forward… reaching for the stars.
GCS Executive Director