To our Phantom Regiment friends, phamily, and phans,
My name is Jeff Hassan, and I am honored to serve as Phantom Regiment’s Board President. As a former member and instructor, and now as a board member, the magnitude of Phantom Regiment’s impact is undeniable. It’s entirely fulfilling to help young people realize that they possess the strength within themselves to achieve true greatness. It is perhaps the most worthwhile cause for which one can strive.
We often discuss our mission of creating life-changing experiences through performing arts education. The fact is, without you, we simply would have no chance of making this a reality for our program participants. Every one of our donors, volunteers, staff, and alums have a hand in helping us achieve our mission. We can’t say it enough: Thank you! Your continued support keeps us moving forward, profoundly changing lives!
This past year was our first chance at normalcy since the end of 2019. Thanks to our tremendous network of donors, we persevered through the canceled season of 2020. The following year, in 2021, our designers, staff, and members created sheer magic with a reinvention of Harmonic Journey. So, as we begin to close the curtain on 2022, I wanted to take the opportunity to capture some of the highlights from this year and direct the spotlight on critical areas of what should be a big 2023 for Phantom Regiment.
Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps
What a beautiful show “No Walk Too Far” was! Early in the season, there was no question that Phantom Regiment would be a fan favorite, a distinction confirmed at DCI Championships! Thanks to the outstanding work of our medical staff and volunteers, we endured through an early-season bout of COVID and finally became healthy enough to perform in DeKalb and Rockford, where we had large phan-friendly turnouts (thank you!) Once healthy, the corps began to improve quickly as we headed into the end of the DCI Schedule. We finished with our best performances of the year at the Drum Corps International World Championships and received our highest placement since 2016!
Looking toward 2023, we have made some changes to our design and instructional team to strengthen our educational offering and accelerate our competitive momentum. This considerable commitment is in line with other top-tier drum corps and allows us to facilitate the best-in-class experience our members, staff, and fans deserve. The investment comes with a more significant price tag, so in addition to your continued support, our Board of Directors is actively working to build a more comprehensive fundraising network.
Our PR Academy is also flourishing! Nearly 200 students attended the return of our in-person summer camps across the country, and Rockford Rhythm has almost doubled in size. These are outstanding educational programs which are a true realization of Phantom Regiment’s mission. Through your support, we aim to increase the number and outreach of these opportunities for young participants as we expand our PR Academy offering in 2023.
This fall, over 2,000 students from 23 bands participated in our Red and Black Fall Classic! The festival saw several of our own talented design staff serve as adjudicators, and many of our loyal administration and volunteers facilitated the event. The Red and Black Fall Classic is a beautiful example of our longstanding partnership with NIU and the Huskie Marching Band. Overall, it was a huge success, and it was great to see so many creative and impressive performances throughout the day!
Finally, we have retired our existing kitchen trailer after 34 years of service, and we’re thrilled to welcome a brand-new kitchen trailer next year! We spent months carefully designing the blueprints and specifications, and the build has finally begun. We expect delivery of the trailer in early spring and should have plenty of time to test-run the new equipment before hitting the road.
During our 2021 campaign, we asked for your help getting Santa a new Sleigh, and you delivered! (See our new tour support vehicle below.) This year, we ask for your help in launching the Feeding our Future campaign – a three-year endeavor to offset the expense of our essential new kitchen trailer. While we are pleased that our rigid financial discipline has allowed us to cover a down payment on this new build, there is still a substantial $350k obligation we need to accumulate through fundraising.
There’s no way to spin the reality: As a nonprofit with a heavy financial lift to get our programs off the ground and continue transforming our students’ lives, your support is as imperative as ever. Fundraising has become critical to our success, and we depend on our Year-End Campaign to succeed. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.
For those that contribute by December 31, 2022, a $100 donation earns you a lapel pin featuring the ‘No Walk Too Far’ logo, and a $250 gift includes a ‘No Walk Too Far’ coffee mug.
In addition to traditional donation methods, there are other ways you can help. Eligible donors can choose a Qualified Charitable Distribution, Gifting Securities, or utilizing Donor Advised Funds. Alternatively, please consider becoming a part of Chevron Society, our legacy planned-giving program. To learn about any of these programs, visit regiment.org/planned-giving.
Join us in providing life-changing experiences to thousands of young adults through performing arts education. Make a tax-deductible donation today at regiment.org/yearend.
Together, we will ensure the future of this incredible organization for many years to come.
Thank you for supporting Phantom Regiment, and Happy Holidays!
President, Board of Directors