The Forest High School’s Marching Wildcats will host a mattress sale fundraiser on Saturday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., to raise money for new uniforms to celebrate the band program’s 100th anniversary season.
In the winter of 1922, the first school band in the state of Florida was founded at Ocala High School by Mrs. Browne’ Greaton Cole. The school was renamed Forest High School in 1969, and its band program is recognized as the oldest, continuous band program in Florida.
In recent years, the Marching Wildcats have enjoyed great success at competitions and music festivals, and they received “Superior” ratings from Florida Bandmasters Association events, which is the highest rating possible. The band’s current uniforms were purchased in 2004, when the new Forest High School campus opened on Maricamp Road.
“Our current uniforms had a great run and lasted us a lot longer than the average band uniform, but they are definitely showing their age,” said Band Director David Jones.
On November 12, the Forest High School cafeteria located at 5000 SE Maricamp Road in Ocala will be transformed into a mattress showroom. According to the band program, nearly 30 different models will be on display for customers to browse.
After selecting a mattress, customers will be able to order it in their preferred size, and adjustable power bases, premium pillows, sheets, bed frames, and mattress protectors will also be available.
The name brands on offer will include Simmons Beautyrest, Therapedic, Wellsville, and Intellibed. All beds will be available in all sizes, come with factory warranties, and will be made to order. In addition, delivery and haul away will also be available.
Due to the fundraising aspect, the beds will be priced less than retail stores and the Forest High School band program will benefit from every purchase.
“We are spending lots of energy constantly repairing and maintaining uniforms. We have not been able to wear our helmets in a few years because we do not have enough that are in usable condition. We also have several jackets held together with safety pins literally. It is definitely time to replace them,” added Jones.
The band program states that the projected cost for the new uniforms is over $40,000. Band members have raised approximately half that amount over the last year and hope to reach their goal this year.
For more information on the upcoming fundraiser, please call Forest High School Band Director David Jones at 352-671-4707 or visit the band’s website.