One of the biggest and most important events we put on each year is our Cleveland Blues Challenge. Bands and Solo/Duo’s compete to represent CBS in Memphis for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Even though we have many volunteers, by the time we rent the hall, hire security, obtain a liquor license, buy insurance, bring in food and drinks, get a back line and sound equipment, bring in and put up out-of town judges, print tickets and flyers and advertise we spend over $4,500.
This does not include the $1700 in prize money we give to the winners to partially support their costs in Memphis. We use our general revenue from your membership dues along with ticket sales at the door (last year ~ $1500), food and drink sales (~$1500), new memberships and merchandise sales (~$1000) and member donations ($500) to break even. The two fund raisers following the challenge and our 50/50 raffles help raise the prize money. Last year was a very good year for the challenge; however we don’t always break even and that is where your $20 annual membership dues and support help provide a buffer for the bad years and front money for example to rent the hall.
The membership dues also allow us to invest in and advertise other activities such as the jams, web site, mailings, county fair, and the blues cruise. Board members are not paid and volunteer their time and travel to plan and manage these activities. Your support is vital to the success of the Cleveland Blues Society.