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At this time, Pioneer is sort of marking time - anxious to start recruiting, and rehearsing. However, the nationwide climate is sending us a strong signal to wait. The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread rapidly in our Wisconsin area. Politics, protests, and unrest may subside, but every activity/club/sports/etc. is feeling the impact of all the above.

It is my feeling that we should start seeking applicants for membership without a precise start-up date. Whatever that date is, we would begin training, rehearsing, and forming a nucleus of an available unit in some form for the summer of 2021. Many options then could be taken depending on the world around us. I do, however, believe that now is the time to enlist interested students to become part of our Pioneer as soon as we are able. Let’s take advantage as soon as possible of the of many restfulness youth who are anxious to get involved with a vibrant activity. More information will be coming soon!

We are informed that WGI will not have any in-person events this winter. Some virtual opportunities may be offered. DCI is considering a very short “Bridge Tour” in 2021, leading to a full season in 2022. Nothing has been announced by DCA.

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Pioneerland has lots of activities taking place at this time including Police Dog Training and parking spaces for the following individuals working on projects who are giving a small donation for its use:

  • Pioneer driver Kenya Lawrence, who parks her mobile nail and hair salon that she has purchased and outfitted
  • Charles Miericke (#1769) selling parted out parts via the internet of his 1979 Dodge van
  • Pioneer Booster Roberts Trucking who store their semi-trailers at the far North section of Pioneerland
  • KB Excursion Buses
  • Our Pioneer Coach buses that are resting as people are not traveling or taking group trips

There are no soccer teams rehearsing at this time.

RBJ (#701) and Mr. Khaled from the KB Excursion Bus Company have installed security video cameras in six locations around Pioneerland that record every activity taking place there day and night.

Murray Davis and RBJ (#701) have been keeping the rehearsal field grasses cut and trimmed on a regular basis throughout the spring, summer, and fall so they are ready at any time for future use.

All of our vehicles have been maintained, inspected, and ready to travel someday soon!

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Our Saturday evening sessions continue with the state’s mandate of only allowing 1/3 capacity. While it doesn’t make as much profit these days, it does pay for our office expenses, electricity, insurance, etc.

Our Lion’s Club bingo is shut down until maybe next March. The Lions are experiencing a shortage of volunteers to help at their hall and the customer attendance has been low.

Loyal customer for almost 20 years, Martha Cisler celebrated her 100th birthday! She was dressed up for her birthday along with her friends at our Pioneer Bingo. They attend regularly and during the summer they wear their Bingo Every Day t-shirts. They come early and play cards, enjoying the company of each other.

While now on a smaller scale of attendance and with a smaller profit, we are very thankful to have our bingo sessions to keep the corps financially balanced. Some of you might remember performing for the seniors outside the Senior Center. The people talked about that very often. Many were also proud to see you at the West Allis parades. As Pioneer Bingo players, they had a great loyalty to you and what you did!

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Christmas is coming sooner than we realize. There is an easy way to do your Christmas shopping and at the same time help your Pioneer Corps. You will smile because you get the best of what Amazon offers plus Pioneer will smile also! Same products, same prices, no cost to you AmazonSmile has the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping as the Amazon you know.

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Turn on AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app

1. Make sure you're signed up for AmazonSmile (use your web browser to visit

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Do you remember when you went canoeing at “Dings Dock” in Waupaca County, WI? Of course, you thought it would be easy, but after 4 hours of paddling, getting stuck, and maybe tipped over by your fellow Pioneer friends, you realized that you were not “Lewis & Clark”! This was the first summer in 59 years that we did not go! It was a corps tradition that every member, staff and management enjoyed. Even with a lot of bruises, fiber glass in your arms from the boats, and very sore bodies, you did something that most people have never done or had the opportunity to have a Canoe Day, that you bonded with your Pioneer Family in doing so. It meant a lot to all Pioneers….maybe next summer 2021!!!!!

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Mr. Calvin Hollis, our truck and bus driver, a man of many talents for repairs and a great sense of humor, now has another attribute. Mr. Hollis is now the Reverend Hollis, a minister of the Assembly of God of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Having studied for the ministry, Calvin specializes in Gospel Outreach. His powerful voice, used for calling square dancing and auctioneering, is now used to dynamically preach the Gospel.
He formed a quartet from his church that placed 3rd out of 27 in a Gospel singing contest which was their first performance. They have been so successful that they have been invited to sing for the opening of a large revival meeting taking place in Branson, Missouri. Among the songs they perform are: I Would Take Nothing for My Journey and Let’s Have a Revival. Calvin is also recording radio spots with religious quotes for his church that are heard around the Tulsa area. Rev. Calvin Hollis is a very talented person who has overcome many challenges, and is a prime example of being Better Every Day!



October 3rd was a momentous day for Jalissa Bishop (#1815) and Josh Pier as they joined each other in marriage that took place in Estes Pak in Colorado, one of the most beautiful settings in the world. Among the approximately 100 wedding guests in attendance were 27 Pioneer Alumni from 1973 to the present. The service was led by Mr. Kevin Savage (#1930). Their wedding vows to each other properly included their promise to each other to be, “Better Every Day”, now and forever. They even had the Garry Owen March played as part of the festivities! Jalissa (#1815) who was a marching member, instructor, and part of the management team for over 13 years was part of a family who were involved with Pioneer since the 1970’s. She looked radiant and beautiful at the wedding. Josh Pier, Pioneer Visual Caption, Visual Designer, and teacher was in peak form with of course his long braided hair along with a broad smile that made everyone present to be happy for such a perfect couple!

curt schmidt

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the passing of Mr. Curt Schmidt. Curt, his wife Judy, and their 4 children were one of the outstanding families to be part of our Pioneer Corps Family. Curt was 100% committed to helping the corps as a driver, cook, fund-raiser, and board member for 30 years. He helped the West Bend Patriots, as well as many color guards who needed a driver or help with props. Curt and Judy housed many Pioneer members in their West Bend home for entire summers. At one time, that had 17 members coming from several different countries. Curt was a mentor and personal friend who lived a life of sharing and caring for others. He belonged to several organizations and was well known in the West Bend community. His children all aged out of the Pioneer Corps: Amy (#993) Pit Percussionist & Scott (#995) Snare drummer operate the Schmidt Funeral Home. Jeff (#994) Snare Drummer is a high school history teacher in Lake Geneva, WI. Loni (#982) Color Guard is a police officer for the City of Sheboygan, WI. All were outstanding members and leaders within the Corps. Curt, thank you for making us, “Better Every Day!” We miss you….Roman Blenski

leroy apfel

 On November 4th, Mr. Leroy Apfel passed away. Leroy and his friend, Carolyn Clements are the key personnel for the United Seniors Center where our Corps has held our Bingo fundraiser games for the past 30 years. Leroy was the hall manager, supervisor of bingo activity, and was the Executive Vice President of the United Seniors of Wisconsin. He spared no effort in helping others and looking for those who needed it. He was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, member of the Milwaukee Civil War Roundtable, St. Veronica’s Parish, and a steady volunteer of the Ronald McDonald House. Many seniors that Leroy was available for will miss him… He was another person who believed in being, “Better Every Day! Leroy was a faithful supporter of our Pioneer Corps and did many behind the scenes acts of kindness. His son Brian also was a big help to Pioneer on recruiting trips as well as taking care of our souvenir stand.
neil normandin Mr. Neil “Norm” Normandin passed away on November 5th. Neil drove the bus and excelled in many projects and repairs. His wife, Beverly, helped with the uniforms and his sons Keith (#792) and grandsons Steve (#1806) and Randy (#1738) marched in Pioneer. Norm was a US Navy Veteran as a Senior Chief and an instructor at ITT Technical College. His passion was his involvement in the Mid-American Racing Series. Hats off to you, Norm. You did make us Better Every Day! It is people like you were, who selflessly cared about helping our young people. You were proud of your grandsons and watched them as they performed. They will never forget how much you did for them and we will never forget how much you helped the Pioneer young people. Thank you!
 david dustrude Mr. David Dustrude (#452) died suddenly of natural causes at his home. Dave was in the Pioneer for the “Thing”. He played Mellophone and aged out in 1973. Before that he was a marching member of the Cedarburg Thunderbolts for several years during the time he was in high school. Dave marched with several senior corps and served in the US Airforce. After he got out of serve he worked for the US Post Office. He did a lot of traveling to Corps shows, becoming a super fan of the activity. We all are thankful for the years that you gave to drum corps
 walter ulekowski On July 14th, 2020 Mr. Walter “Wally” Ulekowski passed away. He was a 20 year veteran of the US Army. He spent a lifetime in the drum and bugle corps activity, had managing positions in the Army, in Munich, Germany , Legionettes from Enid, OK, Milwaukee Pioneer, and Thunderbolts from Cedarburg. He worked for the Global Marine Drilling Company and entertainment director at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. His son John (#251) Soprano, daughter Kathy (#252) French Horn, and Mike (#253) Contra Bass all marching in the 1967 Season while living in Milwaukee.
 food thought


I cannot give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: Try to please everybody all the time! - Herbert Bayard Swope