This note was forwarded to the DCI office and is being published with the permission of the Spicer family.    We recently had the pleasure of watching a Madison show in Buffalo, N.Y. Of course, Madison was the fan favorite ... (ours as well) and they were rewarded with a first-place finish. My wife and I have long been drum corps fans, secretly wishing the judges see it our way at the countless competitions we attend each year. Well, for the past ten years, we have been taking our son to DCI and DCA shows close to home. He has become a real "drum corps nut." We are very lucky that he has embraced drum corps as much as we have ... making a family outing that much more special and rewarding. Our son Adam is a great kid, who just happens to have autism. It is a neurological disorder that affects communication, learning, social skills and sensory processing. Believe it or not, Adam has hypersensitive hearing and has trouble coping in any situation where there are noises (especially loud noises). But since he was 2 years old, when he attended his first DCI show, he has loved drum corps. He sits through a show for five to six hours, just mesmerized by it all. It is totally remarkable that he will sit, listen and absorb all that is drum corps. It is simply amazing. We couldn't be happier with his choices of entertainment, and he has even perfected the drum major salute and Madison hat-flip. While in Buffalo, after the performance, Madison's drum major made his way up into the stands to conduct that beautiful medley of "O' Canada" and "America the Beautiful." We were very fortunate to have 50-yard line seats on this particular evening (a first!) -- and those seats happened to be near a perfect spot for Madison's drum major to conduct the mass ensemble. Just before his duties began, the drum major removed his hat and his newly awarded first place medal and handed it to Adam for safe keeping while he conducted. After the performance, Madison's drum major retrieved his hat and told Adam that he could keep the medal as a souvenir! Adam couldn't have been happier! He is absolutely thrilled. The drum major of his favorite corps gave Adam his medal. It was a very special ending to a great night of drum corps! What we are really trying to say is that Madison has not only shown the drum corps community that they are the epitome of class, but to their countless fans, they mean so much more. This small gesture meant a lot to a little boy and his family. We just wanted the corps members to remember that even though their performances probably blur together (another town, another show), their impact on individual fans is incredible. Adam has his DCI medal hanging in his room.
We are positive that Adam will never forget this night in Buffalo. Thank you and best wishes for the upcoming season, and beyond. -- The Spicers -- Jan, Andrew and Adam
Oakville, Ontario, Canada