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GEARS Program



Fellow Cavalier Alumni –
As we approach the end of 2016, everyone here at The Cavaliers’ organization is sincerely grateful for the year we had and the progress we made. From now through the end of December, we’re asking our alumni to join the annual GEARS Program, with a special tie-in to our uniforms and membership.
2016 was a year of progress and development with the central office staff, The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, Cavaliers Indoor Percussion, and we approved the launch of our new winter ensembles Chromium Winds and Crystal Lake Thunder.
We’re heading into 2017––the 69th year for our organization––with momentum. 
Auditions for the winter ensembles were a big success, and the drum corps audition numbers are up across the board. Not only are we seeing more students in the door, but we’re seeing students bringing more experience and skill to the table. Couple that with our returning membership, and you can guess that we’re all exited for the year ahead.
Joe Roach is leading the way with The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps and Cavaliers Indoor Percussion, while supporting the growth of Chromium Winds and Crystal Lake Thunder. With the strong administrative, creative, and instructional team retention, the years ahead are truly shaping up nicely.
As the organization grows, our Board of Directors is also enhancing with the recent additions of Ellen Huxtable, Todd Snead, and Keith Tidwell. 
Lots of good things are happening off the field, as we’re challenging ourselves to up our game regarding the member experience. We’ll be chartering the member buses this year (versus leasing) to improve the safety and reliability of our road fleet. The medical team continues to evaluate our wellness and conditioning programs while pushing the activity forward in this area, and the food service operation is again being improved. 
And we’ll be showing off the dress greens in parade and finale, with another “new” look for The Cavaliers’ 2017 summer production!
How are YOU a part of this excellent and exciting progress?  
Based on suggestions from a number of alums, and since many of our FMMs have now received at least one Gear (or more) for donating to the corps in the past few years (since we started mailing those out to donors many years ago), we have decided to move to a new way of honoring you for your donations.  (If you ever need replacement gears, just contact us.)
We Cavaliers love many of the traditions that are so dear to the Corps. But what we hear about more passionately than our traditions are the enduring friendships and life-lessons we gained during our time with The Cavaliers. We want to begin to help our current members get an understanding of the value of those friendships and life-lessons as soon as they start marching with us.
We want to see more FMMs in contact with CMMs to talk about the impact the Corps had on us, and the positive impact the Corps will have on them, too. The GEARS Program is being enhanced to help accomplish this even more, with the basic levels of giving as follows:
$60 per Year          Aged-out in last 10 years (after 2006)
$120 per Year        Aged-out more than 10 years ago (2006 and before)
We hope you view this level of donating ($60 or $120) as your “base" level showing your support of the organization, now and into the future. Of course, we will still have higher levels of the GEARS Program and encourage you to contribute tax-deductible gift amount that’s right for you and your family (and keep an eye out for your company’s gift matching programs, too).
As you know, there will be MANY other opportunities to support the organization through efforts like the Annual Raffle, Ensuring Our Future fundraising benefit (summer), Golf Tournament, Drum Corps Challenge, Cav-A-Meal Program, attending a show, purchasing merchandise, or volunteering your time, but we ask you to consider your GEARS Program gift here as we close our the holiday season and the 2016 calendar year.
If you donate at the GEARS Program at $60/$120 or more (one-time or via monthly payments), then your name and uniform number will be matched with a current marching member and his uniform. With your permission, we’ll share your name and email address with that member to help foster a direct connection between you and the current members of The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. 
We would love to see two or three names assigned to every uniform, which would mean well over 300 alumni with an even deeper connection to the 2017 membership. This is one way we hope to bring greater meaning to the history and traditions of the organization, while connecting the dots from our past to the members who will march on through the years ahead.
Please give this special opportunity your most thoughtful consideration during the holiday “giving" season. Your tax-deductible support will be a huge boost as we head into 2017, but your deeper connection to the membership will mean that we are passing on Cavalier values from one generation to the next.
Let’s continue to lead the activity with our alumni participation, as donors, volunteers, parents, and passionate advocates for the organization. Thank you again for all you do!
Your Fellow Alums,
Wayne Karge, Uniform #29
ChaChi "Rick" Slupinski, Uniform #119
Jason Peña, Uniform #(forgot!)
Contact Paul Milano ( with any questions about participating in the GEARS Program. If you'd like to mail a check, please send to The Cavaliers, PO Box 501, Rosemont, IL 60018. 

Your charitable contributions to The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.