A Lesson They Taught Us All

Created on Wednesday, 12 Dec 2018 09:51:52

letterpage1The legacy of The Cadets is one of overcoming challenges, and The 2018 Cadets contributed a new chapter to that history of perseverance and rising above and beyond obstacles. They embodied a true commitment to excellence and a dedication to one another that never wavered.

It is no secret that since last year’s holiday season adversity has befallen our beloved organization.  Together, we faced situations that would have rendered lesser organizations unable to function, but The Cadets we know would not settle for that.

The members, staff, alumni, and volunteers moved forward confidently, and proved they could overcome all that was thrown at them and be stronger for what they experienced together. They doubled-down on the grit and determination that is this corps’ legacy to achieve the goals they set for themselves and never, ever gave up or gave in.

A shining example of that Cadets determination happened last August.  On Finals morning, as is tradition, members of the corps rise up one by one to tell their personal stories and share their experiences with the members, staff, volunteers, and parents who are gathered together before the last performance of the year. For those of you who weren’t present to hear the stories, I can assure you there was not a dry eye in the crowd of over 300.

One after another, Cadets stood up to tell their story of how quitting was never an option. Leaving the organization at the time when it needed them most might have been the path of least resistance, but never a real possibility. A fact demonstrated that not a single member of the corps left after the events of early April. Together, the members of 2018 bonded in a way that was miraculous, and yet possible, a lesson that will be with these young people for the rest of their lives.

ClaireDrum Major Claire Albrecht may have said it best when she spoke through tears of exhaustion and immense emotion to those in attendance at the Finals breakfast:  “I got really worked up last night in the corps’ song when we were singing it at Semifinals… the line in the corps song, ‘thy name shall spread throughout the land and keep it safe for ever more,’ it just hit me, that’s all I wanted to do all summer; to make sure The Cadets are here and ‘heck yeah’, we’re not going anywhere. It’s not enough for us to just survive, but we are owning this thing. I can’t even express how proud I am of this group of people.”

We need you to join with Claire and these 153 other Cadets and make a generous donation that says, “Yes, I’m with The Cadets. I AM The Cadets!”

The lesson The Cadets learned in 2018 is not that of a typical drum corps in a typical year. This is a lesson these young people will take with them as they march into the classrooms, meeting rooms, and family rooms across the country and around the world for generations to come – that the miraculous is indeed possible together.

This specific lesson and these Cadets are the reason why we are asking you today for your support to be a part of the next chapter of The Cadets in 2019, our 85th Anniversary Year. Without you and your support, we can’t provide the type of experience that goes so much farther beyond the uniforms, the instruments, the instruction, the trucks and buses and all of that glorious food!

Visit us online at donate.cadets.org to make your contribution TODAY to support the oldest and most decorated corps in history as we embark on our 85th anniversary year and provide life-long lessons that go far beyond the marching field.

We’ve all experienced times in our professional and personal lives when it was easier to walk away than to stay the course.  Or easier to look away than to stare down the threat before you. Or give up rather than push harder and go faster or longer than you ever thought possible. You know what it felt like to overcome that challenge – miraculous, yet possible. Please join us in working together to overcome the setbacks from earlier this year and set a course for our future.

Perhaps you have been lucky and have never had to confront adversity. Or maybe when confronted you chose to look the other direction or to walk away? We’re giving you the opportunity to stand up and say you were part of the greatest, most improbable comeback ever in our activity. Let’s face it, no-one has had to deal with the situations that faced The Cadets in 2018.  Extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts. Will you be part of our comeback and help us to overcome the challenges we’ve faced with a generous donation?

We’ve heard stories of many supporters sitting on the sidelines this year, waiting and watching for what would come of this group that was splashed all over the headlines not only of the industry news, but of the national news.  We are here to tell you we’ve persevered and overcome those issues to fight on and now it is time to engage in the goal of providing for our future and we need YOU!

It is at this time, we need the entire Cadets organization – members, alumni, staff, and volunteers to come together in a show of support that not only addresses outstanding debts from previous years, but more importantly solidifies the base from which we will grow into the future. Recall Claire’s words, “The Cadet are here and ‘heck yeah’, we’re not going anywhere. It’s not enough for us to just survive, but we are owning this thing."

We are calling on you, every last one of the Cadets fans and alumni, to join with us in embracing this new challenge before us. We have a short period of time to reach our fundraising goals and need your generous support to reach them. There are many ways for you to get involved, but the number one way is to help us raise $100,000 by midnight December 31.

Donate Now!

We have little doubt you, our most generous supporters, will be as charitable as ever. We ask if it’s at all possible for you to exceed your personal donation in the past, please consider it. Every $50 matters. Every $100 matters. Every $500 matters. After all, without your support where would we be?

The fact is the Cadets overcome. It’s just what we do. In 1942, the corps members of age enlisted in the military to fight in World War II, and the younger boys voted to continue the corps and not disband during the war. In 1958, the corps competed in the National Championships with a temporary name, borrowed instruments, and improvised uniforms. In 1969, with not nearly enough male guard members recruited, the corps leadership did the unthinkable and recruited females. In 1980, without enough members from the northeast to field a corps, over 40 members were recruited from Mississippi and Louisiana and transported north in the “van lift”. And now 2018 will be added to the list of historical years when adversity was overcome.

We leave you with a saying that is familiar to many who have marched in the corps, but applies to us all: Cadets don’t walk away from a problem… they run to it. We ask you, in this most extraordinary of years and trying of circumstances, to run towards the Cadets family and give at the most generous level possible.

Donate Now!

During this holiday season of miracles, our wish for you is time to reflect on the 2018 Cadets and the lesson that the miraculous is indeed possible together.

For Holy Name Shall Always Be,






Doug Rutherford
Chairman of the Board
Cadets ’84-88





Vicki Ferrence Ray
Executive Director
Cadets ‘92


About Us

Our Mission is to support the development of young people into magnificent human beings through participation in the performing arts.


For general information about YEA! and our programs please contact us at:

 info @ yea.org
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     Allentown, PA 18101