April 23-29 marks National Volunteer Week. DCI.org takes a look this week at just a few of the many personalities that spend their time volunteering with drum corps. Contact any of the many drum corps out there to find out how you can become a volunteer. Name, hometown: Nora Bierce Whisenant, Marietta, Ga. Which corps do you volunteer with, how did you get started and how long have you been at it? I volunteer with Spirit from JSU. I marched as a member of Spirit of Atlanta in 1978-1980 and my husband Mark marched 1977-1981. In 2001, when the corps was actively recruiting former alumni to help out, Mark suggested I go on tour to help with souvenirs and we've been hooked ever since.
What kind of work do you do with the corps? I have been a past vice president, president and am the current treasurer of the Spirit of Atlanta Alumni Association. In 2001, the Alumni Association took over the souvenir operation in an effort to help ease some of the manpower and financial burden of the corps. For the last five years, I have helped manage the souvenir operation. What is your favorite part of being a volunteer? Being around the members and spending time with other alums and members' parents. We have a blast! What is the most difficult part of being a volunteer? When the kids don't do well and trying to keep their spirits up. The really long drives in the middle of the night aren't a lot of fun either. Do you have any favorite memories or anecdotes from your years as a volunteer? Madison 2002, when the corps was back in the "night show." Orlando 2003, when Spirit jumped to 12th place in semifinals and we had a run on souvenirs. And of course, all the wonderful members who I have gotten to know over the years. What are you most looking forward to during the 2006 season? Getting to know the new members better, seeing the shows and spending time with friends. What advice do you have for those who would like to get involved as a volunteer with a corps? Jump in! The kids are always thankful for everything. You won't regret the time you spend and you're likely to meet some really great people.
Nora Bierce Whisenant