The Royal-Airs Drum & Bugle Corps was founded by Sie Lurye on June 28th 1958 on the grass of Humboldt Park. Mr. Lurye, a member of the American Legion and V. F. W., was interested in a "Child Welfare" program, because of this interest, the Royal-Airs Drum & Bugle Corps came into being.
The object of this organization was to establish a means to promote activities that would attract the interest of the youth of our city, so that their energies would be put to use for constructive purposes. The activities of a Drum & Bugle Corps, properly supervised, was definitely the means to an end, and the success of this venture is magnified by the record of the Royal-Airs, both on and off the field of competition.
The members of the Corps are taught to read and write music, to play a musical instrument of their choice within the scope of the instruments used by the Corps. They are taught the importance of fair play and good sportsmanship. They have in the past six years traveled over 35,000 miles thru all sections of the United States and Canada. They have slept on army cots, rubber mats, blankets, armory and gym floors, as well as buses, trains and planes, but they have also been housed in the finest hotels and motels. Their feeding problems have been well supervised, but there have been times when because of tight schedules, that they have eaten on the fly; everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to steaks and chops. All this we feel has played an important part in their building up program.
They have performed before thousands and thousands of people in many of our states and cities, as well as in Canada, and have always been a credit, not only to the many people who are associated with them, but to themselves and the principles they represent as well.
The cost of operating an organization such as the Royal-Airs is tremendous, and far above the means of any of our people, but together we have been able to survive. Corps expenses have been estimated at $40,000.00 per year as an average for the past six years; quite a lot of money, but thru the efforts, hard work, and personal sacrifices of all members of the Corps and many of the parents, we have been able to not only survive, but grow.
To continue to grow, not only must we exert our efforts to a greater degree than before, but we find we must have larger quarters to take care of the ever growing demand for membership in the Corps.
We have been given the opportunity to purchase, at a great savings to the Corps, a building, priced far below the actual value of the property, large enough to take care of our needs to function properly. At the present time our headquarters consists of four stores which are Inadequate to serve our purpose; the cost of maintaining these stores being far greater than the cost of maintaining the new building would be, added to that is the fact that our present headquarters has approximately half the available space. The building at the present time belongs to a veterans organization, and its members are willing to make the sacrifice in price only because of their desire to help the youngsters of our Drum Corps.
Like most non-profit organizations, our greatest hardship has been the constant problem of raising funds to keep our heads above water. Our Sponsors have played a major part in aiding us in this problem. Outstanding in this role has been our American Legion sponsor, Cicero Post No.96; who has stood by the Corps since its very beginning. The support they have extended to the Corps can never be repaid, nor can the praise they deserve ever be put into words that would adequately express our sincere appreciation. Patrick T. Hallinan Post No. 3580 of the V. F.W., who sponsored the Corps thru the 1962 season, also, when they were able, gave the Corps their entire support. It was with deep regret that the Corps learned that the Blue Island post had to drop them as a sponsor because it was financially unable to aid them in their program, regret, not for the financial loss, but because of the close relationship the Corps felt for the post. Our present V. F. W. sponsor, Berwyn Post No.2378 has and is playing an active part in our progress, and has already found a place in the hearts of the members of the Corps.
Other means for raising funds have been mainly thru our Annual Dance Program Book, Easter ham raffle, paper and scrap drives, parent get-togethers, and the collection of items that could be converted into cash, such as the "pepsi cap" drive. It has been a rough struggle, but we have managed to overcome all obstacles, so that this organization could continue on in its outstanding "Child Welfare" program.
We are now faced with our greatest challenge, WE MUST raise $25,000.00 to purchase a building which will be the future home of the Royal-Airs; a building with more than adequate space to supply our needs and permit us to enlarge on our program. WE NEED YOUR HELP. It is cheaper for you to help build boys, than it would be to MEND MEN. WILL YOU PLEASE HELP THIS WORTHWHILE PROGRAM MOVE FORWARD.
THANK YOU ,
ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL AIRS.
************************** Presented by Carol (Vinceri) Woodall *************************