As a part of National Volunteer Week, Drum Corps International would like to name the 2006 DCI Volunteers of the Year. More than 15 drum corps volunteers were nominated for this year's award. Many of these nominees have been around the drum corps community for decades, and we hope they are around for many more summer tours to come. Congratulations to the 2006 recipients: Friedel Cramer
Nominated by Roman Blenski, Pioneer executive director Friedel Cramer has been a part of the Pioneer organization for the last 17 years. He joined the Pioneer as a contrabass player in 1989. Ever since his ageout year, Friedel has served the corps as an equipment manager, bingo helper, bus driver, truck driver and the person that everyone goes to when something needs to be repaired or put together. Friedel, a tool and die worker by profession, donates all of his extra time to the corps. Every year, Friedel has donated from his personal earnings, money to the corps in order to help sponsor several members who could not have marched if not for his generosity. Friedel can maneuver our semi-trucks and buses through the most difficult mazes of small town or big city streets. He uses most of his vacation time as well as taking frequent time off without pay to be of help to the corps and has never asked to be compensated by the corps for any expenses but rather has contributed many tools, food money and student loans to the members. He loves the challenge of fixing anything that has been broken. If it involves carpentry, electricity, repair of instruments or even welding, if Friedel cannot fix it, it cannot be done! Tim Farrell
Nominated by Patrick Seidling, Phantom Regiment director Tim Farrell is the board president of the Phantom Regiment organization. Tim is – simply put – the entire reason Phantom Regiment exists today. The corps reached its lowest financial depths in late 1999. Tim's decision to re-join the board at that time provided the calm and focused leadership to see us through the process of rebuilding the corps. Through it all, his "unshakable" demeanor has been an inspiration to all. Today our corps enjoys its most solid and successful time of any in its 50-year existence. Tim has volunteered in all capacities. He was a member of the corps, the instructional staff and the board of directors. He also followed in his father's footsteps and became board president on two separate occasions. His current tenure certainly has been the most critical to our corps survival. Tim has an amazing knack to gather the most talented and diverse people to our board and management team and then he gets them to work enthusiastically and effectively. To take an organization from near-collapse to unprecedented success is no easy feat. He embodies the true spirit of volunteerism, even in the face of a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Steve Tant
Nominated by Joe Rosemond, Carolina Crown board of directors Steve Tant has been an active volunteer with Carolina Crown since nearly the start of the organization in the late 1980s. He has served for years as a member of our board of directors, and he is an extremely active at-large member of our executive committee. He is currently the chairman of our CrownEvents committee, and is truly its day-to-day "workhorse". He has elevated our five-event CrownEvents to "franchise" status through a never ending process of creative and business thinking. I know for sure that Steve also has personally donated thousands of dollars 'in kind' and in hard cold cash to Carolina Crown, Spirit from JSU Alumni Association and Drum Corps International. He is truly one of Carolina Crown's unsung heroes! Bill and Pat Croissant
Nominated by Megh Healy, the Cadets assistant director Bill and Pat Croissant have selflessly devoted themselves to the Cadets as well as to Drum Corps International for the past 20 years. There is never a task too small or too large for either of them to tackle and best of all, there is never any asking involved. The Croissants are almost always at the forefront of activity in the world of drum corps. They are devoted fans and donors. Even though they have a family of their own, they have made DCI and the Cadets their beloved family. They welcome the members, the staff, other volunteers, parents and fans into their world, even if that world is the life of a drum corps fanatic! All are treated equally in the eyes of Bill and Pat with no exceptions. I recently spoke to Pat about the future of the Croissants and the Cadets and it tore my heart out of my chest to hear her response. She has made a decision to tour only part-time this summer. She made this decision with the best of intentions for all in mind, as she does with all her decisions. I shutter to think of the Cadets without the Croissants on board. It seems like a day without sunshine, but then the Croissants will always and forever be family to the Cadets, never far from home even if they may not be driving and/or cooking. God bless the Croissants, I only pray that one day I can say I did half as much for one organization as they have for DCI! These volunteers will be officially recognized at the 2006 DCI World Championships in Madison, Wis. Also nominated for the 2006 Volunteer of the Year were: Ann Prendergast (Spartans), Debbie Krebs (Madison Scouts), Bill Seeley (Blue Devils), Judy Louongo (Spartans), Ray and Mary McCrary (Carolina Crown), John Schoenknecht (Pioneer) and Carol Newton (Bluecoats).