Rebel Roasts: The Band’s New Fundraiser

Anastasia Branch

Staff Writer

 The Freeman band has partnered with Two Labs Coffee to create Rebel Roast Coffee: the perfect drink to warm up Freeman Rebels after this chilly week. 

   Catherine Gardner, the owner of Two Labs Coffee in Palmyra, Va., is a Freeman alumna herself. She graduated in the Class of 1992. 

    Since Ms. Gardner and Rob Blankenship, Freeman’s band director, “were friends in high school,” she “reached out to Mr. Blankenship to see if he was interested in doing a fundraiser for the band using [her] coffee.”

  “Right around Thanksgiving,” plans to start the Rebel Roast fundraiser sprung into action, said Mr. Blankenship.

   Julia Wright, co-president of the band boosters, said “Mr. Blankenship brought samples of the product … to our band booster meeting … and the booster club agreed that this would be a fantastic product to offer not only to Freeman Families, but to alumni as well.” 

   Mr. Blankenship agreed saying, “Lots of people drink coffee and having that Freeman connection … that was cool.”

   The band’s winter concert in December was “actually the first night we did [sell] it,” said Mr. Blankenship.

   Ms. Wright also remembers that they “did have a sale at Kroger” one day. 

   At sales, customers have the option of choosing between the $10 bags of the “Rebel Roast” blend or the “Winter Rebel Roast” blend. 

   The “Rebel Blend is a dark roasted blend of beans from Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Brazil,” while the “Winter Blend is a medium roasted Honduran coffee blended with gingerbread spices,” said Ms. Gardner. 

   “I drink the Rebel Blend more often, that’s my “go to” coffee on most days. However, the Winter Blend is my favorite flavored coffee,” said Ms. Gardner.

   Ms. Gardner said that choosing between the two coffees is “a tough one … it just depends on what I’m in the mood for.”

   In addition to the previous sales, “The band booster club is now coming up with a plan to pre-sell the product,” said Ms. Wright.

“We are hoping to have it available in the future so be on the lookout,” said Ms. Wright.

   Aside from the fact that the coffee’s “ongoing source of revenue is a fantastic way to keep our programs supported,” this recent fundraiser “helps us draw attention to our music programs,” said Ms. Wright. 

   Ms. Gardner agrees to this sentiment by saying, “being able to use the business I’m building to help community and school groups makes being in business more fun.”

   “What better way to give back than to do a fundraiser with my old high school?,” said Ms. Gardner. 

   The Band Boosters “love that we are supporting a former alumna,” said Ms. Wright.

   For the Freeman community, this fundraiser “demonstrates [the idea] of once a ‘Rebel, always a Rebel,” said Ms. Wright.

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