Lehigh Valley Knights thank corps, seek equipment and financial assistance

To our fellow drum corps family:

On behalf of the Lehigh Valley Knights, we would like to extend our utmost thanks to DCI and the drum corps community for coming to our urgent needs in order for us to be able to compete this past Thursday evening in Chesapeake, VA and allowing us to continue our journey on to Nashville, TN, and eventually home this Saturday evening.

Here is the story . . . After a long but promising day of practice, the Lehigh Valley Knights (LVK) were prepared to proceed to their first competition of the season at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, Va.
The LVK corps members were waiting for members of their parent group, the Chieftans senior drum and bugle corps from Allentown, Pa. Both corps would be participating in a parade in Nashville, Tenn., on Friday.

To expedite travel plans, the equipment trailer, fully loaded, was sent ahead. The corps members were getting ready to leave when the staff received word that our 28 foot trailer, being towed by our Suburban, was involved in a major accident. The trailer was on route 78 west and hit a bumpy spot on the highway. As the trailer hit the bumps a tractor trailer went by and the air from the tractor flipped our trailer over on its side at Exit 40
(Kutztown) on Interstate 78 heading west.  Neither driver was injured, for which we were extremely thankful. It took the effort of local police and fire companies and a crane brought in to upright the trailer, three hours to reopen Interstate 78 before staff members were permitted to evaluate the condition of the vehicle.

While staff members were patiently waiting, others began to put the further plans into effect. After numerous phone calls, staff chose to send the corps on to their scheduled competition. The staff would then meet the buses with any salvageable equipment.

Unfortunately, the majority of LVK equipment was a total loss, with the exception of some horn, some battery and guard equipment. Our trailer and tow vehicles are also gone completely. We are estimating a total loss of about $80,000.

As many corps enthusiasts know, the Knights are a junior corps nurtured by their mentors, the Chieftans. The Chieftans, through their commitment to drum corps values, understand what it means to come back and rebound from adversity.

There is a strong resolution on behalf of the Lehigh Valley Knights to leave no doubt – we are here to stay! Our season and schedule will GO ON AS PLANNED! Replacement equipment has already been secured and the corps staff will be traveling to the Midwest this week to get our new equipment.  What is needed is a new trailer.  We have decided to look for a 48-53 foot trailer and rig for a replacementS (anyone with one or good leads on one should contact us immediately.

Obviously the biggest thing we need right now is DONTATIONS!  More than ever we need financial help to continue providing the same quality experience that we have during our first two seasons.

Your donations can be sent to:
Lehigh Valley Knights
Equipment Replacement Fund
P.O. Box 786
Allentown, PA 18105

Any help is appreciated!!!

Of special note we would like to thank the following people/organizations who came to our assistanceS

Teal Sound Drum & Bugle Corp . . . you guys totally floored us! Besides loaning of equipment, the corps (kids & staff) took up a collection and presented it to us upon their arrival to the show siteS Words cannot ever express our thanksS What a class act!  Thank you Teal Sound!

Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps . . . use of Equipment and practice facilities, your support is totally appreciated by all of us.

The many people at the show in Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, Va.  Their music program and show committee for their assistance in getting us whatever we needed.  We would like to especially thank all the people who stopped by the corps busses and donated money and a special note to the “no name” 50/50 winner who decided to donate his winnings to the corps.

SimplyS. It’s thinks like that which make us all a familyS what started as tears of sorrow on early Thursday morning certainly turned to tears of joy when we all saw LVK take the field that eveningS We all said it would be a performance of a lifetimeS it certainly was!   Upon arrival back to the college this evening, parents were there waiting to assist us with whatever we needed to continue our weekend campS  the kids are more determined than ever to make this the best LVK show ever!  I certainly, believe they are well on their way!

Anyone who would like to offer any other assistance, please contact us.

Simply, THANK YOU!

Glen Paisley, Tour Director
Lehigh Valley Knights Drum & Bugle Corps www.LehighValleyKnights.org ValleyKnights@aol.com