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November 30, 2012

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November 30, 2012

I have been a huge drum and bugle corps fan since the 1960's. In the 1970's, my taught ( I was a band director) with someone who knew the corps director of the Blue Stars and we took our high school band to many Blue Star performances. We had several band members march with the Blue Stars after graduation. They had great experiences. Fast forward to 2007. My son auditioned for the Blue Stars and marched 2007 and 2009. I was hooked. I have volunteered every year since. The Blue Stars provide an exceptional life changing experience for extraordinary students. The students are well cared for on tour and received top notch instruction from professional educators. We strive to give our members the best possible drum corp possible. Drum corps is a very challenging activity on many levels-musically, physically, emotionally. It is very possibly the hardest thing the students have ever done in their lives. Yes, they will learn a lot about drumming, brass playing and spinning flags but, they will take with them so much more in terms of values for life. They will learn responsibility and accountability-no one can march and perform their role in the show. Time management-be on time for all rehearsal blocks, don't be late for the bus. People skills- on tour with 150 peers- learn to get along. Most importantly they will learn they are much more capable than they ever.thought possible. I have volunteered for 6 yrs and will continue to do so for as long as possible. We have a dedicated Board of Directors, an excellent management team, quality educators and supportive volunteers. I have met wonderful people as part of this activity and am proud to a Blue Star volunteer.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 30, 2012

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November 30, 2012

I have been attending drum corps shows since I was 6 months old. But my dad was the one who first started volunteering with the Blue Stars when he retirement. He asked if I would like to come with him and help sell souvenirs with him...and the rest as they say is history. The Blue Stars welcome everyone and you are part of their family. With a rich history dating back to 1964 you meet so many people from the beginning days of the corps to the rookie kids and parents from all over the country. They are a class act who care about everyone. I am honored that I can be a part of the Blue Stars family.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 29, 2012

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November 29, 2012

I became familiar with the Blue Stars because of my daughter. I had always taken the stance that she could do drum corps AFTER high school. Through various incidents, we began the search for a corps during her junior year in high school. Her goal was to march with a World Class corps and be on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium on Finals night in August. She was also looking for a corps that was challenging musically and visually, but where she felt at home. Our road led us to the Blue Stars. Being curious as to who my child would be traveling with for the summer and loving to spend time with my kids, I decided to volunteer. Multiple opportunities were presented for volunteer opportunities, so I opted to assist with the cooking. We are blessed to have found a home with the Blue Stars, and the experience my daughter is getting is priceless. From a music education standpoint, even had she not been contracted, the camps were well worth every penny we spent. She has gained self confidence, grown in musical skills, grown in marching technique and found that she can strive for AND achieve far more than she ever anticipated. As a volunteer, I have found a group of hard-working adults who care for each and every corps member as if they were their own child. Staff and volunteers alike are invested in supporting, encouraging and teaching these young people as they embark on one of the most difficult, exciting and rewarding adventures of their lives.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 24, 2012

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November 24, 2012

Until 2004 I didn't even know Drum Corps existed. My older daughter joined a local one in Massachusetts and soon convinced her younger sister follow her. They were 13 and 11 years old at the time. I had no idea what a life changing opportunity it would be for not just them but for my family. At first the performance opportunity and skill building was what we saw. Later the life skills- like time management, organization, setting goals, prioritizing, leadership just to name a few. We had volunteered with other organizations, but were amazed at what was involved with this activity. In 2010 my daughter wanted to make the transition to world class. I figured she would once again pick one of the local corps or at least one in New England. She had other ideas. Clearly from 2004 to 2010 she had been evaluating the world class corps looking for one that had the values and ethics that she wanted from the experience. She along with 3 of her friends headed off to The Blue Stars from LaCrosse, Wisconsin. I have to admit at first I was disappointed knowing that when they left there would be very few opportunities to see them perform or for my husband and I to volunteer. But she was so confident of her choice I knew it would work out. Soon after arriving she called to tell us that we should come out and volunteer, that they were very welcoming. She was right on so many levels. I have never been involved with an organization that lived up to their core values on so many levels. The management of the organization had clearly put time and energy to make sure that the corps provided a world class opportunity to the members as well as continue to provide the life skills. I took a week of vacation to volunteer that summer. Within a few hours I knew that this was an organization that was worth my time and money. I went back 2 more times to help out that summer, as well as the next 2 years. My husband has volunteered the past 3 summers as well. Most people think you do it so that you can see you child, ironically you see very little of them because you are as busy as they are. Each time I have helped out I am still amazed that the volunteers are so diverse. There are people that marched Blue Stars or another corps, others that have a family member marching currently or in the past, others are people that know what the activity provides. However the two categories that speak volumes are the people that stop by to help out for a few hours but end up staying on for days or weeks because they see the value that this organization provides to the members as well as the community. These members spend 3 1/2 months each summer working harder than most people do in a year. But they do it and come back again to do it again until they age out. This summer I watched new alumni come back to help out because they want to give back to the organization. With all the opportunities available to people this age that fact that they would spend a day, a week or longer volunteering is proof that they recognize what this wonderful organization provided them that they want to make sure that it is there for future generations. Their motto translates to "The End Crowns the Work" and this organization truly lives by that creed. I will continue to support them with my time and money long after my daughters age out.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 14, 2012

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November 14, 2012

I first saw the La Crosse Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps perform in 1975 in Ohio, where I grew up. I was very impressed with the performance on the field, as well as the classy demeanor off the field. Fast forward 21 years to when I took a job as a Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. I watched the Blue Stars because I enjoyed them, but I was too busy focusing on my new teaching and research duties. I did not have time to do much else those first several years, so I did not have time to meet people in the corps. By the time I was ready to volunteer, I developed heart problems, and I was unable to do much. In 2006 I had a heart transplant, which saved my life. During the recovery period I had to stay at the hospital out of town, and I started following the Blue Stars on their online forum, which was quite active on show days. The corps had recently moved up to World Class division and was on the move. The Blue Stars forum became my connection to the outside world. A year later I was still hanging out on the Blue Stars forum when one of the parents asked me to march in the Blue Stars alumni corps for the annual Oktoberfest Parade in La Crosse. It was great fun, and even though I wasn’t an alumnus, people made me feel like I belonged. I started volunteering that year at the Blue Stars Oktoberfest Brat stand, and then started volunteering extensively the next summer and three summers after that. Last year I spent more than 30 days volunteering with the corps. The members of the corps are wonderful. They are polite to and grateful for the volunteers. It is fun to watch individual members go from shy, often scared auditionees to rather mature, focused adults (of course their musicianship increases greatly also!). The lifelong friendships and bonds that they build with one another as they work toward a common goal are fantastic. The Blue Stars help to build the members into more interesting, confident, mature people. It is very rewarding to follow their career paths after they leave the corps. The Blue Stars experience is great for members, staff, and volunteers alike. It has been fantastic for me as a volunteer to watch the Blue Stars organization grow and become even more stable and successful. The Blue Stars have made me part of their family.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 13, 2012

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November 13, 2012


Through its world class instructional programs, the Blue Stars offer excellent opportunities for young men and women to realize new potentials they didn't realize the had. The training and application stages of the programs are second to none. The corps instills high morals and values to all
its members and often are life changing experiences.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 13, 2012

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November 13, 2012

The Blue Stars motto is "Finis Coronat Opus"... roughly translated as "The End Crowns the Work". In my 7 years of association with this organization I have seen some many young adults achieve and grow well beyond their own expectations. The values and work ethic provided by the Blue Stars is second to none in the Drum Corps activity. My own story involves my son. Not only did he advance as a musician, but most importantly he grew into a responsible, compassionate adult and leader. His story is far from unique. The Blue Stars strong values, sense of family, inclusion and fair play porvides positive life changing expereinces for its 150 members every year. I willingly give my time, business skills and money to this organization. Investing in these young adults has the highest return on investment possible.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 13, 2012

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November 13, 2012

I have been a volunteer with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps for the last two years. I have found my volunteering with them to be an extremely rewarding experience. I am so positive about this organization that over the last two years I have vested 5000+ hours, traveling 25,000 miles, slept on countless classroom floors, helped out where ever I could, to see the organization succeed. Why do I do this -- the staff, administration, and all the volunteers associated with the Blue Stars organization are all dedicated to developing (personally and professionally) the young leaders of today, and the business leaders and educators of tomorrow. While on the surface the visible results of the organization are a superior musical marching performances by 150 young adults, the real accomplishment is the transformation of 150 individual musicians/performers into a responsible, dedicated, group of leaders living and working together as a well honed team. Drum and Bugle Corps was an activity I was a member of as a young adult some 45 years ago. Over the 45 years the activity has improved its processes for developing the leaders of tomorrow. For those who don't know what a world class drum corps is, think of it as professional caliber marching band, i.e. the NFL of marching bands. The big difference is that none of the performers are paid; and in fact, have to pay to participate.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 12, 2012

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November 12, 2012

I'm 60 years of age, & a recently retired VP of the second largest retailer in North America. Frankly, I owe my early retirement & the blessings bestowed on my family to the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps, from La Crosse, Wisconsin. It was during my mid-teens that I auditioned for and became a marching member of this tremendous performing arts drum corps. The ensuing 5 years molded my character & values quite rapidly, as drum corps is a highly competitive activity. Among many key learnings, I gained an understanding and true meaning of dedication, hard work, discipline, pursuit of excellence, and working together as a team. I learned how to win with humility, and I learned how to lose with dignity. Most important, I learned how to pick myself back up along with my fellow members after a defeat and try again and again until we achieved success. These valuable lessons carried over and were ultimately applied to every aspect of my professional career which again, made me & my company successful. My involvement with the Blue Stars also enabled me to successfully raise five children, embedding in them the same values & belief system, building moral character & respect for others. So today, following a 36-year career, I'm a Board member of this same organization and volunteer for a number of activities - no job is too small - in hopes of contributing in some small way and making an impact on the lives of our 150 young adult marching members.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 26, 2011

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April 26, 2011

I first became aware of the Blue Stars when I was marching with another drum and bugle corps. I was always impressed by the organization. After I was too old to march and transitioned to a fan and volunteer, I was continued to be impressed with how the Blue Stars were managed, the corps values, the administration and staff, and its members.

When my daughter decided she wanted to participate, I did not hesitate to encourage her to become involved with the Blue Stars. It was a fantastic experience for her. Being closer to the organization as a parent and volunteer, I saw first hand that my prior impressions of the corps were not only correct - they were surpassed.

When I was asked to join the Board, I again did not hesitate, as I was proud to be a part of an organization that is as dedicated to its members, as its members are to the organization.

The Blue Stars provide their members with an opportunity to learn many very valuable life skills. It’s not just part of their mission statement – they really do this.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen my daughter become more accepting of others, deal with adversity, push herself to do things she never dreamed she could to, and to persevere when she would have otherwise have given up. I've seen her set goals, work on achieving those goals, and when faced with obstacles, find a way to work around them. Many of these benefits are the direct rest of the things she learned as a member of the Blue Stars.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more volunteers to assist with fundraising.

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