In 2015, our supporters helped us to build a brand new equipment trailer. The old one was a 1977 trailer that we acquired in 2004, so it was certainly time for a new one.
We have another incredible opportunity for our supporters to help ensure future success with our merchandise program. It’s time to replace another aging and run-down vehicle in our fleet…our merchandise truck & trailer. The merchandise trailer is a 2001 utility trailer that we acquired in 2002 after a fire destroyed our previous trailer. The truck that pulls the trailer and transports the merchandise staff is a 2004 GMC that we bought in 2007, currently with 220,000 miles. Can’t say we don’t get our money’s worth out of our fleet! 😉
Our merchandise operation has become an integral part of the financial support system for the drum corps. We have been able to rely on it to bring in 30% of the corps’ annual operating income. So you can see how this is capital campaign will help ensure our future success by providing an up-to-date merchandise truck and trailer.
Plus, it gives our fans across the country a chance to buy their favorite Regiment merchandise at a show near them.
Why do we need to update?
Well, there are many reasons, but let us start with the most important – SAFETY!
We have a phenomenal merchandise staff that has made the current setup work…but not without blood, sweat, and tears. Staff members have probably received a concussion at one point or another from exiting the current trailer as the door height is relatively short.
We’ve never had an issue where the staff had to exit the trailer all at once, thankfully, but there is only one exit. In addition to safety reasons, there is the comfort factor as well. When you’re in the middle of Texas in a toaster oven, it would be nice to have more than one door just for airflow alone.
For those who live in colder climates, you already know what the salt from the winter roads can do over time…and that’s cause rusting. The current trailer’s floor and undercarriage are beginning to rust.
Another reason is EFFICIENCY!
Our current trailer is too small for our merchandise operation. Many of the events during the summer have become indoor or tent only events. The staff has to load and unload the trailer, usually on a short timetable, and access through the small walk-in door makes it difficult to do this efficiently. And again, sometimes causing pain for those whose heads might hit the low doorway on the way in and out.
The new trailer will have a dropdown door and ramp in the back so that we can roll our merchandise racks in and out easily and quickly. Plus, we will have multiple access points, cutting our load-in and load-out time in half!
By purchasing a custom built trailer, we will be able to fix a lot of the issues we’ve just had to deal with over the years. We can become more productive, efficient and adaptable to the many different scenarios that the merchandise team is presented with every summer at our numerous events.
This is just an example of what our new merchandise trailer might look like:
We also plan to make the new trailer multipurpose! We will maximize its use by using it for merchandise in the summer and equipment transportation & storage during the winter.
The truck that pulls the trailer needs to be replaced as well. It’s become a money pit these past few summers as we try to keep it going down the road. In 2007, we were fortunate to have the Lapekas family build out the inside of the truck to allow it to store overflow as well as to be able to transport the merchandise staff. A huge thank you to them as that setup has worked for the past 10 years!!!
We’re looking to purchase a used truck that has a similar setup but is in much better shape mechanically than our current truck.
The estimated price tag for both is $50,000.
The incredible opportunity that awaits our fantastic donors is that thanks to the generous support from the Phantom Regiment Alumni Association, they will match up to $20,000!!!! So, realize whatever donation you can make will be doubled with the awesome matching gift from the PRAA!
The deadline for the matching gift is April 1st. Will you help us reach this goal? Remember that your donation will double with the help of the PRAA matching gift (up to $20,000).
In order to make the matching donation in time to start the build, the FIRST 75 people to donate only $500 or more will be guaranteed to have their name proudly displayed on the back door of the merchandise truck. *Please note: we may display the donor names on the merchandise trailer depending on the type of door and space available. Names will be grouped by donation amount.
Remember, the first 75 to donate $500 or more will have their name listed on the back of the merchandise truck, and we need to reach $20,000 by April 1st in order to receive the matching gift.
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