In 1955 a 15-year-old sophomore from Bay View named Sherry Daley, now Sherry Daley Jung, founded the Daley Debutantes Baton and Drum Corps. 55 years and many championships later, the group is still going strong.
The 39-Time National Champion Daley Debutantes Baton and Drum corps celebrated its 55th anniversary this Fourth of July season.
“When I founded the corps at age 15, I never dreamed that I'd still love it so many years later,” Jung said. “I am thrilled that we have second generation members including two of my granddaughters and my nephew who is our music captain, Eric Blaufuss.”
The Daley Debutantes perform in 18 local parades each year. The group has won many “Best On Parade” or “Top Specialty Unit” awards in local parades and even the Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade.
The corps has represented the United States in Dublin, Ireland for its St. Patrick’s Day Parade twice. Members have also performed at halftime shows for the Sugar Bowl, Gator Bowl, Hall of Fame Bowl, Kick-Off Classic, and Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. The group briefly appeared in the parade chase scene in the Hollywood blockbuster “The Fugitive.”
Marcy Daley Blaufuss, who lives in Bay View, and Patti Daley Wertschnig, original members of the group, help direct the corps along with their oldest sister, Sherry Daley Jung. All three are members of the Baton Twirling Hall of Fame.
“We have been blessed with wonderful young people to work with and we have tried to offer them opportunities to enhance their physical fitness,” Marcy said. “We have tried to teach them many important life lessons, such as setting high goals for themselves, working hard to achieve them, and working together as a member of a team.
“We offer them performance experiences to help build their confidence and self esteem. They have so much fun together that they may not realize how much they are working and learning.”
The Daley Debutantes will attempt to win their 40th National Championship at America's Youth on Parade this July at the University of Notre Dame. They have taken home the state championship 55 times.
“The important thing to us is that they have fun together and make lasting friendships. Each one of them is so important to us,” Wertschnig said. “We are like one big family we have so many special memories from local parades to national competitions and performances”
The group is still as strong as ever. The Daley Debutantes have over 100 members from 22 communities in five Southeastern counties. Several corps captains are from Bay View, including music captain Eric Blaufuss, twirling assistant captain Eva Glisczinski, music assistant captain Petr Glisczinski, and junior corps captain Margaret French.
Contact Director Sherry Daley Jung at 414-476-9659 for more information about the group.
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