The Inishfree Austin Irish Dance Booster Club (IAIDBC) members are comprised of the parents and guardians of Inishfree Irish dancers. It is a volunteer-driven organization endeavoring to provide support and encouragement to dancers through competition, performance, and fundraising.
Competition: IAIDBC, in conjunction with Inishfree School of Irish Dance, Austin (“the dance school”), hosts an annual feis, the Texas Capital Championships. In 2015, the dance school and booster club added an addition feis, the Live Music Capital feis, for an exciting double-feis weekend. Additionally, there are other statewide competitions held annually in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
These local competitions enable the dancer to put into practice what they’ve learned in a competitive atmosphere. Dancers also learn from these competitive experiences poise, good sportsmanship, and independence.
As dancers move up from the beginner level into the highest level of open championships, they will have the opportunity to qualify for regional, national, and international competitions.
Performance: Understandably, not every dancer desires to compete. There are also opportunities through the school and booster club to attend performances in the Austin area. The performances are an avenue of promoting the dance school and fundraising for the booster club. Our dancers have been requested at annual Celtic cultural events, as well as schools, weddings, and retirement homes and elder care programs. This is an excellent avenue for a dancer to pursue if s/he is undecided about entering the competitive events.
Fundraising: As with most non-profit organizations, there is a fundraising component to the booster club. Extracurricular activities are expensive and Irish dance is no exception. Funds raised are intended to help offset the cost of class costumes, teachers’ travel expenses, and expenses related to hosting the double feis weekend. It is important to remember the more participation, the better able the booster club will be able to serve the dancers financially. The booster club also purchases the coveted green “Inishfree Oireachtas” jackets. These jackets are presented to dancers attending their first Oireachtas.
Fundraisers are kept to a minimum so that families don’t feel they are being asked to sell items or donate money constantly. With that in mind, the booster club is continually on the search for “passive” fundraisers where dancers and families are not asked to sell items. For example, in December we held a shopping weekend at a local store. For every purchase by someone with our flier, the store donated 20% of the pre-tax purchase total. Our net proceeds from this event enabled the booster club to help purchase more class dresses for our students.
Annual fundraiser: Program ad sales – A program is given to each family attending the feis hosted by the school. Ad sales are a way to raise money that supports the majority of the booster club budget during its fiscal year. Download Ad form here.