Frequently Asked Questions

Who are we?
We are the student orchestra of Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, AZ.

What is the Orchestra Booster?
The Orchestra Booster is a group of parent volunteers that help the director with whatever is needed such as organizing a fundraiser or planning a trip.

Who can be on the booster?
Anyone can be voted into office on the booster board.  The board changes as students graduate so we are always looking for replacements.  Volunteers are always welcome.

Why are there so many fundraisers?
There are two types of fundraisers, student based and Booster Based.  The students raise funds by selling things like cookie dough or butter braids.  The student based fundraisers are so that the students can earn money for school trips, class fees, etc.  The orchestra board raises funds for all those extra expenses like sheet music, section coaches, meals at the music festivals, banquets, etc.

Why are the fundraisers necessary?
The fundraisers are necessary because the schools have reduced funding to extracurricular activities like the orchestra program.  It also helps ease the burden on parents that otherwise could not afford the school trips or class fees.

I don't have money to help with fundraisers.  Are there other ways to help?
There are several ways to help.  You can volunteer to be a chaperone at one of the festivals or help transport instruments to the festivals.  There are also ways to help us earn money by doing your normal shopping! Please add the orchestra to your Fry's Rewards card, and learn to use the Benefit-Mobile app. You can also start your amazon shopping at  All 3 of those are free and easy to use and the money is donated from those companies.

How does the Fry's Rewards card help?
When you use your Fry's rewards card they give a percentage of your purchase back to us.  You need to log into your account at  Then, under your profile, add Desert Ridge High Orchestra Booster under the community rewards section.  You need to do this once a year. This is our best money maker, they are great!

What is Benefit-Mobile App?
The Benefit-Mobile app is an app where you purchase a gift card and a percent of your purchase goes back to the charity you select.  You can use the gift card immediately after purchase.  If you are at Walmart and your grocery bill comes to $50 you can buy a gift card from the app and use it to pay your grocery bill.  This works at several places you may already frequent.  For more information go to

How do I sign up for Amazon Smiles?
Whenever you login to Amazon, use the web address You can then shop as normal and Amazon will list which items are eligible for your charity, which seems to be almost all of them. You will login with the same account as normal, but then, under account settings, you can choose to change your charity to Desert Ridge High Orchestra Booster. After every purchase it will give you the option to see your impact, which is kinda fun.

What is a Tax Credit?
A Tax credit is a donation to a school or school program that the goverment gives back, dollar for dollar, through your tax returns.  You can donate up to $200 if filing single or $400 if filing joint married. You must donate using  the Tax Credit form.  You can donate to the orchestra program or directly to a student in the program.

Who can donate a Tax Credit?
Anyone can donate a Tax Credit as long as they are filing an Arizona State Tax Return.  This means mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, cousin, friends, non friends, etc.  The Tax Credit can be donated until April 15th for the previous year.

Can I make a donation to the orchestra program?
Yes, you can!  We accept all donations and all donations can be used as a tax deduction as we are a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit.  If you would like to make a tax donation let us know and we will provide you with the documentation you will need.

What is Charms?
Charms is the accounting program the orchestra boosters and director use to communicate with you by email,  keep track of student ledgers, important handouts, and a calendar of events.  You can log in to see your child's account which has handouts that are due, shows events, fees if owed, and any uniforms checked out.  To log in go to,  and enter DRHOBoosters as the school code.  You will need the password that your child set up.