We have come to another year-end, and to say 2017 was a difficult year would be an understatement.
I need to start off by saying THANK YOU for the outpouring of love and support we felt after the incident with one of our staff buses in Arizona. We were heartbroken at the loss of our driver but thankful the injuries to our staff and volunteers on that bus were not worse. The outpouring not only from our donors and our fans but also from the drum corps community as a whole was tremendous.
The summer began with major equipment challenges. Our refrigeration unit kept having issues and, just like when you take your car in for service, it was a $1,000 to $1,500 repair bill each time. After the third time, we decided to stop and purchase a new unit. In the long run, that was the best decision, but it was a $15,000 price tag we weren’t expecting.
And then it got worse. A short time later, the food truck generator unexpectedly stopped working. This was a surprise as it’s been a workhorse for so many years. The maintenance and upkeep had kept it in good working condition. But after 29 years, the generator finally went kaput. Because we have a unique food truck (ours is all electric), it requires a very high capacity generator. Those are approximately $100,000 these days. Luckily, a local company offered to build a generator on to the current engine. That came at a cost of $24,000.
Our heroes, YOU, the donors and fans, stepped up to the plate in a big way during our Fueled by Phans campaign, which is one of the reasons I’m happy to report that as our fiscal year closes, we will finish in the black once again. Thank you for your continued generosity!
We wouldn’t be able to sustain and grow the quality of our organization without all of your help. It is your support that continues to fuel the Regiment’s successes on and off the field.
To provide a life-changing experience for every young person in our programs is not only our mantra but also our goal. The number of young people that take part in our programs continues to grow. Allow me to touch briefly on those programs.
Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps
Of course, our world-renowned drum corps once again achieved a top 10 placement at the Drum Corps International World Championships, while entertaining fans along the way.
We added two educational camps this past summer – so we’re up to 11 summer camps at five universities across the country during the heart of the summer.
Concert & High School Festivals
Our recent high school marching band festival had 33 bands from three states, while our concert band festival is expanding to two days! These programs not only provide an opportunity to reach more young people, but they help those band programs as well.
Rockford Rhythm strives to provide young students in the Rockford area with an education in percussion. This program is in cooperation with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and Rockford Public Schools District 205.
The world may know of the Phantom Regiment because of the drum corps, but these are many of the programs that your contributions help fund. They are all in an effort to provide a life-changing experience for as many young people as possible.
Our annual donors may remember when this campaign was used to help us recover from the expenses of the summer. These days, we’re happy to say that this campaign helps us with planning for the future and, more importantly, keeping students’ membership fees down. However, from a capital standpoint, we’ve learned that we need to purchase a bigger tow vehicle than originally planned for our new merchandise trailer that we raised funds for last year.
This is where your support becomes so imperative. This is one of only THREE major fundraising campaigns we run during the year, and we need your help! Your support will go toward the programs that thousands of young people want to be a part of. You can help make their dreams come true!
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today at the level that works best for you! Those who contribute $60 or more can receive a limited quantity lapel pin commemorating the 2017 production of “Phantasm.” For those annual coffee mug collectors, you can get the 2017 version with a gift of $200 or more.
Thank you for being one of our heroes!