April is drum corps volunteer month on DCI.org. If you'd like to "nominate" a fabulous drum corps volunteer, send a writeup and a photo to content@dci.org. John Burgan, assistant director/tour manager of the
Crossmen, nominated Jon Terry.
With DCI.org declaring April as "Volunteer Month," putting the spotlight on the backbones of the organizations, it once again made me think of the corps I have grown to love.

Jon Terry
I found myself reflecting how truly blessed I am to be surrounded by so many great heroes. At the Crossmen camps it's not a surprise to have 25 volunteers ready to handle the task of the weekend. So how can I pick one to feature? It was starting to become a daunting task! The answer to my question was really simple once I thought about it over the weekend. It was the person that was responsible for getting them "ALL" in the door in the first case -- our "Volunteer, Volunteer Coordinator" Jon Terry. Jon Terry has headed up the coordination of the Crossmen volunteers for the last six years. Jon's first exposure to drum corps came when he was living in Carlisle, N.J. The city played host to a senior show, and Jon hated the noise that came with it! At that time his future bride (that he had not yet met) probably drove right by his house to be with her fellow corps members that were with the Reading Bucaneers. Jon would meet Cherrie in the years to come. When Jon and Cherrie started out their relationship, Jon hated the idea of attending a drum corps performance. It was in 1977 that Cherrie convinced Jon to attend a spring indoor concert for senior corps and a special guest performance by a junior corps, called the Crossmen. What had peaked Jon's interest was he saw that the Crossmen would be playing "Russian Christmas Music." After the Crossmen performance Jon sat up and said, "I could deal with that." After watching that summer's DCI finals on television, Jon was hooked and then started attending to local shows. In 1981, Jon and Cherrie went to their first DCI Championships together in Montreal, and have attended every final since. Jon first became involved with the Crossmen in 1997, when his daughter Becky first auditioned. Becky was awarded a position in the horn line and has served on the podium for the last two seasons, as well as drum major this year. That first year Jon would help when he could, and jumped in more the following season. Jon and Cherrie are to this day very active with the Crossmen. In 1999, Jon approached Rod Owens, the Crossmen tour director. Jon felt the need for someone to coordinate the volunteers, get them in the door, make them feel welcomed and get them involved. Thus his position was established, and his work began. "Jon has been of great assistance to the Crossmen. Through some turbulent times and three directors, he has continued to work for the cause. Calling volunteers, coordinating their participation and digging in himself -- just a great asset!" commented George Hopkins, executive director of YEA! Terry started out with three to four volunteers coming forward to help at the winter camps, and now, upwards of 20 help out on any particular weekend. Jon's task includes getting the parents involved early in the season so that they might commit to some time during the summer tour. It takes much effort to get enough volunteers to handle the cooking and driving for the corps while trying to balance the volunteers throughout the summer. With e-mailing and calling, trying to get some to trade weeks for better coverage or get coverage period, that in itself is a fulltime position. Jon has a "real job" to balance as well. Fellow volunteer and parent Dave Kotzin commented, "I've known Jon for the last four years, his gentle personality and hard work is amazing. No job is beneath him, he's there doing whatever it takes, and never ask for anything in return, we are very fortunate to have him." Jon's musical preference is classical, and his instrument is French horn. Jon attended Mansfield College for music, but had to drop his music major due to a hearing impairment he acquired at birth. Jon redirected his energy and has since received a Ph.D. in religious studies, and is currently a pastor in the United Methodist Church. Jon also teaches several college courses. Jon, we are so glad that Cherrie was able to get you hooked on drum corps. It is also amazing that your daughter followed both parents to the activity. All your behind-the-scenes efforts and assistance is priceless! Thank you for all your help over the past years! Jon Terry -- the Crossmen organization and our members are truly blessed to have you!