Bridgemen members from all eras, whether they wore cadet jackets or long yellow coats, now have an organization to call home again. Following the excitement and camaraderie generated by two reunions and countless discussions between numerous alumni of the Bayonne, NJ, corps, nine former members have incorporated the Bridgemen Organization, Inc. with the goal of creating an active and vibrant alumni association and returning the great show corps to the field.
Within a few hours of the official announcement of the new nonprofit organization’s Web page, Stephen Schaller, board of directors president, received more than 500 e-mails expressing enthusiasm and appreciation for the formation of the group. The organization’s board of directors represents all eras of the Bridgemen’s competitive years and welcomes all former members to join the alumni organization.
Former drum major Jim Jordan was unanimously elected president of the alumni association by the nine-member board which consists of Patrick Forker, vice president; George Lavalle, treasurer; John Riccardi, secretary; Tom Kowalak, Ken Donovan, Bob Farrell and Claire Edmonds-Kronenfeld.
Several volunteers have already stepped forward to help Jordan plan and coordinate various activities through the alumni association, including a newsletter, reunions, social events and fund raising. Once fully organized and functioning, elections for officers will be held yearly. Orders for alumni T-shirts are being taken until April 30 and future souvenir and marketing endeavors are being developed.
Alumni participation will be the main focus of Bridgemen Organization, Inc., but the goal of forming a Bridgemen drum corps has been explored and several models have been proposed. At what level the corps will participate in the activity has not yet been determined, but there is no doubt that its performance level will conform to the standards set by the famous show corps.
The first gathering of the alumni is being planned for Labor Day weekend during the DCA Championships in Scranton, PA. More information on the gathering will be announced on the group’s Web page.
To contact the organization, write to The Bridgemen Organization, Inc., P.O. Box 4263, Bayonne, NJ 07002, or visit www.bridgemen.com.