From an Americanos press release: The Americanos from Menasha, Wis., are ready to return to the field of competition for their 70th Anniversary. Founded in 1936 as the Sons of the American Legion ("SOTAL"), the Americanos are one of the nation's oldest Drum Corps still in existence. The Americanos organization has made many sacrifices through the years to preserve the history as well as to ensure the future of this great drum corps, including the painful decision of ceasing corps operations for 2005. After a much-needed season away from competition the corps and the organization have been able to create a more secure financial base from which to operate. The 2006 Americanos will be under the leadership of Linnie Rose, who has been retained as corps director from 2005. Throughout the summer months, Rose has been working diligently, putting together a high-caliber educational staff and an extremely aggressive recruiting campaign. The goals set by Rose and the board of directors are to participate in Drum Corps International Central Division and Drum Corps International Division II/III competitions with a corps of no less than 80 members. A corps this size places the Americanos in the competitive ranks of Division II. The Americanos will once again continue their tradition of performing a Latin-themed show, but with an exciting new look. In a press release last spring the board of directors indicated the selling of all equipment. The corps only managed to sell its battery percussion equipment in a timely manner, and then made the decision not sell anything more. The corps still has all front ensemble equipment as well as all brass instruments, which were all purchased brand new prior to the 2004 season. "We are currently working on possible endorsements and or a purchase agreement for new battery equipment which will be here in time for rehearsals," said Nutch Kolosso, president of the Americanos board of directors. Several plans have been laid out to ensure the future of the corps, including plans to build a brand-new corps facility that will not only house our offices and bingo, but will also offer many other fundraising opportunities. "We have come to the realization that our bingo operation and membership fees can no longer support the cost of putting a touring corps on the road and we are looking to expand into providing a facility with multiple uses," Kolosso said. "The "new" Americanos Centre will offer use of our facility for weddings, banquets, Friday fish fries (a very popular Wisconsin dining experience) and Sunday brunch, as well as being available for corporate lunch meetings. Our goal is to have our new "business" up and running by November 2006, until that time we will continue to operate at our present location," Kolosso said. The Americanos indoor percussion ensemble, under the direction of Adam Hill, Bart Bates and Linnie Rose, this new independent indoor ensemble will be the first of its kind in the Fox Valley area. We feel this program will build a solid foundation for our entire percussion program year round, and help put the Americanos organization back into active competition and to better prepare the corps for the summer competitive tour. To assist in preserving the tradition and history of the Americanos organization, the Americanos are officially announcing the formation of the Americanos Alumni Association. In these days of financial uncertainty, an alumni association can provide that extra revenue and public relations that the Americanos have been lacking. Plans are for this group to one day become its own entity and just maybe grow into the Americanos Alumni Corps. All Americanos alumni are encouraged to sign up today by e-mailing Linnie Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the corps' Web site at canos.org.