FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 24, 2012) -- The Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club gave a record donation of $4,000 to the Carroll High School band for the purchase of much-needed percussion equipment.

Members of the Spouses Club, including Kim Crutchfield, Esther Muskopf, Sandi Farrington and Patti Galli, surprised band members with the gift during a dinner May 17 at First Methodist Church of Ozark.

Band director Josh Williams said the money would go to purchase new percussion instruments, particularly bass drums, for the upcoming marching season. The new equipment will replace the current instruments which were bought in the mid 1990s.

"These will last a long time. They're high quality," he said. "Our percussionists are working under their instructor to reach the highest performance level expected of a drum line. They're the ones that really keep the band going on the field. They're the ones providing the beat."

The spouses club has given out more than $17,000 in scholarships this year, but very few welfare requests have come in, according to Cindy Carrell, welfare chair. Because of this, the club had funds available to meet the need of the school.

"We're proud to be able to support our community -- not just our Soldiers and Families on post, but our community supporters as well," said Kim Crutchfield, wife of Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general.

"This one was also special to us because it's an arts program," added Christin James, club president. "I know funding is being cut for arts programs, so if we can support the school and give them what they need, we want to do that."

The spouses club is a nonprofit service organization serving Fort Rucker and surrounding areas, James explained, so members are always looking for opportunities to give scholarships and provide funds for welfare requests.

"We want to grow our program," she said. "We would like to double the amount of money available so we're been looking for people to contribute funds for that."

Throughout the year, the club sponsors events like cupcake bake-offs, bag sales and the annual Hollyday Mart to raise money to fulfill requests, James said. It also sponsors community events like Sweetheart Bingo, where seniors from all the local senior centers are invited to play bingo, and the Fairy Godmother Project, which provides free prom dresses and jewelry for low-income teens.

James encourages potential members to consider joining the club, even if they can't make it to the monthly luncheons, because membership dues contribute to the scholarship and welfare funds. The club is mostly inactive during the summer but will start back up with the "super sign-up" membership drive in August.

To learn more about the Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club or to fill out an online membership form, scholarship application or welfare request, visit