Crusaders on the march

Youth band performs in the grand opening of the Los Angeles County Fair.

by Buffy Lincoln –

Pomona’s Crusaders Youth Band played throughout the parade in spite of the heat. Photo by Erika Hernandez

Undeterred by heat that fluctuated between 105 and 108 degrees, the Crusaders Youth Band of the Pomona (Calif.) Corps marched and played in the opening ceremonies of the Los Angeles County Fair on Sept. 4, 2010.

In a 45-minute parade route that meandered through the fair, Corps Officer Captain Moy Hernandez drove a truck decorated in Army colors that carried eight members of the band. The Pomona Corps’ emergency disaster canteen followed the flatbed truck. A color guard of two girls—Carrie Sparrow and Summer Schaltz—and one corps employee—Tony Chaffino—announced the arrival of the group.

The corps received an invitation to march in the ceremonies after completing an application distributed to them and other area businesses, organizations and churches. When they arrived at the starting point of the parade they were surprised to find that they were the only band that showed up.

“The people cheered as we walked by,” Hernandez said. “We heard comments like ‘We love Army music’ and ‘play, play’ coming from the spectators. We could tell that the Army’s presence at the fair was well received.”

Roland Furman is bandmaster at the corps and was marching—or riding—right along.

“They told us that it had never been that hot before on opening day,” Furman said. “I was proud of our group for how well they performed in that heat.”

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