SPHS Music Department Celebrates 50 Years of Beloved Fundraising Tradition

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After 50 years “in business,” the sub-sandwich makers of Severna Park High School outperform and outsell any sub shop in a single day.

Several times a year since 1969, members of SPHS’ music department have taken sub orders from the community, created and delivered their hand-stacked hoagies to help fund the music program to compete in competitions and festivals, and provided revenue for new uniforms and instruments. The thriving sub fundraiser is also a great opportunity for teens to learn leadership and teamwork skills as part of the coordination of such an enormous endeavor. Maybe best of all, the event brings together parents and students for a common cause.

Julie Bresson, president of the Band & Orchestra Boosters and parent of two teens in the SPHS music program, grew up in Severna Park and can remember her brother making subs in the mid- to late-1970s.

“The sub fundraiser really is a Severna Park tradition,” Bresson said. “The kids are as excited to sell, make and deliver the subs as the community is to order and receive them.”

The annual tradition has grown to seven sub days scheduled for the 2019–2020 school year, including the most recent sale on August 17, when 1,182 subs were made within an eight-hour period.

Boosters’ communications chair Tammi Molavi said the kids get excited about the sales.

“The kids are involved in everything from coming up with themes [to handling] all logistics,” Molavi said. “Kids, like my son Evan, who is the student chairperson, are responsible for executing every aspect of the fundraiser. This is an opportunity for kids to step up and lead their peers in something that benefits everyone.”

When Molavi says everyone she means exactly that.

“One of the great things about the music department is that it’s very inclusive. Everyone is welcome,” said Joy Sim,

Boosters’ fundraising chairperson. “We have so many different roles in music. It doesn’t matter how much experience a student has; everyone who wants to give music a try is very welcome.”

Bresson said the fundraiser generates approximately $13,000, which helps to pay for things like bus rental for the students, and truck rentals to ship equipment and instruments to competitions.

The Boosters partner with Classic Foods, which orders and supplies the perishable food items and paper products. The subs are prepared in the Severna Park High School kitchen under the direction of Anne Arundel County food services personnel to ensure the assembly line and packaging are in compliance with government guidelines.

In addition to being an easy, delicious and healthy meal for families, subs can be donated to either Sarah’s House or Serving People Across Neighborhoods (SPAN), which received 99 fresh subs on the first sub sale of this year, and 80 subs from the August fundraiser.

“When Kevin Sullivan (SPHS music parent and sub sale chairperson) contacted SPAN recently to inquire as to whether we were interested in receiving donated subs for our pantry, we replied with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’ said Ellen Kinsella, SPAN director of development.

“When clients come to us for food, they are appreciative of the nonperishable and frozen food we give them. However, when we can give them freshly made subs for each member of their family, they are overjoyed, and sometimes moved to tears.

“The best part of this is knowing that the sandwiches were donated out of the kindness of the hearts of families in our community,” Kinsella continued. “It is the essence of ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors,’ which is one of SPAN’s primary tenets.”

The second of seven sub sales during the 2019–2020 school year is scheduled for a September 14 delivery. Orders must be placed by September 8. For more information, to place an online order, or to make a donation and designate a sub to a local charity, visit the Booster’s website at www.sphsmusic.org.

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