The Daley Debutantes Baton and Drum Corps, founded in 1956 by Bay View native Sherry Daley Jung, competed recently at the University of Notre Dame and won the top award for a parade unit. This was the 33th year they have won the Grand Champion award. Units from across the United States, Canada, and the Virgin Islands competed during the week-long event. Over 3,000 young people gather in a spirit of comrarderie and pride.
The Debs have been competing at America's Youth on Parade for more than 45 years and it is always the highlight of the summer for the members who come from as far away as Jefferson and Racine. To maintain its winning posture the corps practices three times a week beginning in April until the competition which is held during the third week of July. In addition to competing as a corps, with a music section and a color guard, teams of twirlers compete in several events.
During its 50+ years in existence, the Debs have performed at half-time shows in Florida, California, Wisconsin, Louisiana,and New Jersey. They've marched in parades all across the United States as well as Dublin Ireland: in 1999 and again in 2003 both for St. Patrick's Day. They were even part of the chase scene in the movie The Fugitive, staring Tommie Lee Jones and Harrison Ford.
As winners of the Grand Championship, the Debs received a five-foot, five-inch trophy, $800, and a little brown jug, the traditional gift given to all winning units. Each member of the team also received a medal.
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