Dear Friend of Phantom Regiment:
Wow! What a way to cap off our 50th anniversary celebration: Another crowd-pleasing show, our first high percussion trophy, competing for the title, moving up in finals. Whew! It was a fantastic year.
This truly was a season of which we can all be immensely proud:
* Paul Rennick’s percussion section dominated the caption the entire season, finally winning the one caption that had eluded Phantom Regiment through its glorious history.
* JD Shaw’s brass section was powerful, stunningly beautiful and emotional. They combined with the percussion section to help the corps win the overall music caption at DCI finals.
* Adam Sage’s guard and Jamey Thompson’s drill told a story the way only Phantom Regiment can and won the visual general effect caption at finals.
* Dan Farrell showed he knows Phantom Regiment better than anyone. Five very different shows, five consecutive top-five finishes.
At the end of the night Aug. 12, it was Phantom Regiment capturing second place, its best finish since 1996. That was the corps’ 33rd consecutive appearance in finals, a streak bettered by only one other corps.
However, while there are many things to celebrate, there are just as many to get in place before 2007:
* Insurance costs continue to rise with no end in sight.
* Transportation costs continue to rise – $3 a gallon for gas is scary. Could it hit $4 next season?
* Housing and spring training costs continue to rise.
* A flood that stunned Rockford on Labor Day caused thousands in damage to souvenirs and other items in our basement office at Rockford College. Insurance likely won’t cover the losses.
* And biggest of all: We need to build a new kitchen trailer. It was a beauty in 1988, but 19 years later, we’re not sure it can go on the road for another summer.
Replacing the kitchen trailer is Phantom Regiment’s biggest hurdle before spring training in June 2007. Thanks to alumnus Dana Pelan’s generous donation last year, we have an empty trailer paid for and in our possession. A brand-new convection oven donated this year by our favorite restaurant in town – Beef-A-Roo, and an almost-new refrigeration unit will be removed and re-installed in the new trailer. But, it still will cost about $60,000 to complete the trailer.
As we look ahead to our second 50 years, we are asking that you consider a donation of $100 or more to ensure the competitive and financial strength of Phantom Regiment. If you are able to donate $500 or more, you will receive the Phantom Regiment 50th Anniversary DVD as a thank-you. Please contribute whatever you can. Every dollar does matter. As has been the tradition for many years, everyone who donates at least $50 will receive a collectible coffee mug to commemorate the 2006 season. This year’s mug will also commemorate our 50th Anniversary!
Again, thank you for making our success in 2006 possible. As always, feel free to contact me at [email protected] with questions, comments or suggestions.