What a weekend!

Arbella Independent Winter Guard Friends and Family Night 2017

What a weekend!

There really are no words to express the immense amount of gratitude that Joel and I have for everyone who helped make this weekend such a success.

This was a big weekend for us.  We had been working on Arbella for many years, so to finally see the kids bring to life the dreams and aspirations we had for Arbella as an organization, well, it was breathtaking.  To see a room filled with friends, family and supporters on our Friends and Family night to support these great kids was even better – but to see them finally hit the floor in evaluation, in front of a full field house – well, that was the icing on the cake.  And we’re only just getting started.

So, thank you one and all for making ARBELLA happen, and for making this weekend so amazing.

The list is long, so I hope I don’t forget anyone:

  • First, thanks to EVERYONE who attended!
  • Thank you to our terrific kids and their families.  Everyone chipped in food items and party supplies for the evening – but I also want to thank them for their commitment.  It’s competition season and we have alot of rehearsals…. and they have other children – it’s not easy to be in ten places at the same time – so thank you for enduring the craziness – I’m right there with you :s!
  • Thank you to board member Medley Long for securing the Hastings House for us, for our event and as an additional rehearsal space, and for your help on the night.
  • The Board of the Hastings House for agreeing to such reasonable terms for the event and rehearsal space!
  • Linda O’Connor for the custom photo cake, cookies and her AMAZING FAMILY of kitchen warriors!  Kellee, Kelly, Olivia.. honestly, I do not know how I would have been able to pull off the night without their help in the kitchen.
  • All the parents who helped prepare for the event, “man” the raffle table, serve and cleanup Sue, MaryJane, Delia, Kim..who am I forgetting…
  • Natalie’s brothers and friend for arranging and rearranging and re-rearranging tables and chairs.
  • All of our OUTSTANDING STAFF:  Brian, Kelsey, Linda, Stephen, Hugo… for sharing in the night but also for sharing their amazing talents and passion for color guard!  We’ve had additional help along the way from Hailey, Matteus, Tyrone, Cam and John from Salem Blue, Sac, Emanon…. By the way, they don’t do any of this for money – they are all volunteers!  They deserve an extra round of applause for that!
  • All of the drum corps alumni family who came to support us both by being there and with donations: Jim Tallo, Frank Raffa, Linda O’Connor, we even had Arbella aluma Joanne Berry there, and a Jeannette!
  • Lisa Arsenault – who donated gift certificates for our raffle and presented the kids with individualized name tags for their flag bags – how thoughtful!
  • I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody.  You know what it’s like throwing an event, it’s like a wedding, alot of work and the night is a whirlwind and over before you know it.  So if I missed you let me know!

On Saturday we had our first ever show at the NESBA Evaluation show at Salem HS.  For those who are new to competitive guard I bet this was an eye opener for you!  It’s a crazy-hectic day for everyone!  Thank you to all the parents, grandparents and families who came to support the kids.  Thank you to our Danvers HS band friends who attended as well!

We were the talk of the day as we are the only new color guard to come on the scene for a while now.  That’s a pretty major accomplishment, as more established organizations tried but were unable to get guards out this year.  We got compliments on just about every aspect of our show  – we made a great first impression!

Thanks to the moms who stuck it out for the day with us, Sue Prideaux and MaryJane Taylor.  They were on hand for carpooling between locations, helped with lunch, hair, makeup, logistics, uniforms in the locker room, sherpa-ing equipment about… by the end of the day it is safe to say we were all pretty frazzled. 🙂

And a special THANK YOU to all our kids, for working so hard, honing their skills, enduring long practices, and doing what it takes to bring the show to life.  They have become a Guard Family, and that’s a special thing. 🙂

And now, we continue on with the task of perfecting our skills and getting ready for our first real competition on February 11 at Melrose HS.

THANK YOU AGAIN EVERYONE, from the bottom of our hearts,

Lauren & Joel

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