I hope you’ve been enjoying the holiday season so far and that the weather hasn’t been too cold in your area. Here in the Midwest, we had a few days below zero, but luckily it didn’t last too long, although we did have a white Christmas this year. 🙂

For those that received our initial year-end campaign mailing and have already donated – THANK YOU! (See the list of donors so far here.) Let people know you’ve donated on your social media pages and forward this on to your friends to help us increase our donor base.

(Read the year-end letter here).

We should all be thankful for the opportunities we’ve been able to provide for the young people in our programs. We are also thankful for celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2016! We wouldn’t have been able to do that without our heroes over the years…people we don’t thank enough – our donors and volunteers. I don’t know where we’d be without you. Also thank you to our board of directors, committee members, students, staff, and the thousands of phans across the globe. I can’t possibly say this enough: THANK YOU!

With your support, our year-end campaign can be successful once again. We no longer are paying for the past, but building for the future. For instance, we need to put more resources into our newest program, Rockford Rhythm, to ensure its success, while we continue to expand our educational camps.

Our year-end campaign helps to keep the cost we must charge students for our programs down. This includes Rockford Rhythm, our educational camps and the drum corps member dues. You can help us keep the increase to a minimal 3 percent for drum corps dues, which is only about 25 percent of the actual cost for each member. The other 75 percent is raised through our various events and fundraisers. Basically, it comes down to our heroes like you to help make the Regiment be successful!

We need your help to reach our goal! Currently, we are $10,000 short of our goal of $30,000. But I have faith that with the help of our heroes, YOU, we can close that gap dramatically, if not surpass our goal before the year-end!

Have you ever wondered where our funding comes from? Our programs raise 52% of our overall funding from appearance & performance fees, and membership dues.

The events we produce provide 22% of our funding. Unfortunately, we took another hit this year thanks to the unpredictable and sometimes violent weather in the Midwest. A torrential storm at one of our events forced us to cancel the competition and turn it into a standstill instead, which didn’t help our bottom line. The weather is something we just have to deal with as it’s out of our control (though that doesn’t keep it from being frustrating).


When you buy that t-shirt at a show or from our online store, you’re helping our merchandise program to bring in another 13%.

The last 13% of our funding comes from our fundraising, a number we’re always looking to increase.

Your tax-deductible contribution will make a huge impact. Every little bit helps as we strive to provide a life-changing experience for the young people in our many programs.

Where does your donation go? It will help to keep what we have to charge for membership and educational camp dues down. Did you know that a member of the drum corps pays more than $3,000 to be in the Regiment, and that’s only a quarter of the actual cost to the organization? That’s where our fundraising comes in to help – to make up for the difference.

For instance, a donation of $150 will:

  • Bring us 1.5% closer to our goal
  • Provide 5% of the total cost of an average stop for the fleet at the gas station
  • Buy 2 days worth of milk (10 gallons), orange juice (6 gallons) and bread (15 loafs)

The experience we strive to provide is priceless. But don’t take my word for it – hear from some of the young people that have benefited from the Phantom Regiment:

“While passion, dedication and motivation are the heart of our summers, the supporters and donors are what get us down the road, keep us fed, and make it possible for us to put on a production that makes you proud. Not one second nor one dollar is taken for granted. Thank you for keeping us On The Road.”
– Aylin Vural, Color Guard (Captain ’15 & ’16) 2012 – 2016
Westminster, MD

“Being a member of the Phantom Regiment was one of the greatest things that has happened to me. Spending hot summers surrounded by 150 of my best friends made for memories I wouldn’t trade for the world, as well as connections that will be there my whole professional life. I’d give anything to be able to be back out there again this summer! SUTA”
– Megan Pressley, Front Ensemble 2015-16
Wilmington, NC

“Five years ago I fell in love with the Phantom Regiment. Over those years I grew into a better person and made some of the most special memories. I will be forever grateful for the times I was pushed to a new standard and I am thankful for every minute I got to spend performing with my phamily. I am so honored to have been able to spend my summers with this amazing drum corps.”
– Mackenzie Maslanka, Color Guard 2012-13, 15-16
Marietta, GA


“Moving forward in life, I feel inspired and confident to take on whatever challenges and difficulties it has in store for me. This is what Phantom Regiment has done for me.”
– Jesse Cendejas, Euphonium & Tuba 2013-14
Dacula, GA

The single most rewarding part of my job is reading these and seeing that we are making a difference. Being able to see these young people grow up in front of my eyes makes it all worthwhile.

Before the New Year arrives, I hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help continue the work we’re doing. Any amount is greatly appreciated!

As for 2017, we’ve already been hard at work on it! We’ve added some new key positions to the design & instructional team that will bring a new twist to the Regiment. (I don’t want to give anything away just yet). We’ve also added more educational camps for this summer. 2017 is looking very exciting. We hope to see you this summer during our coast-to-coast national tour!

Thank you for your continued support!

Rick Valenzuela Executive Director




From the Regiment phamily, and my family, we wish you a
very happy, safe and prosperous New Year!!