valentines day

This is a time to say THANK YOU! To our close friends and people who have done a lot for you, our Pioneer Family. We have a very long list of people who have and continue to support the Corps: their time, their money, and have offered good words about Pioneer to others. All this makes the Pioneer Corps enter its 60th season. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY to EVERYONE!

mardi grasIt is a year ago today that we were issuing Pioneer instruments and preparing bus #69 for the trip to New Orleans to Mardi Gras. Scott Stewart organized the Madison Scouts Alumni Corps for the trip, and what a wonderful experience it was! To those who participated it was truly an experience of a lifetime……and then the pandemic hit…

aheadAt this time there is no news that is certain activity for the Corps activity. When we do start again, things will be different. We will travel less, rehearsal schedules will be changed, housing will be more difficult to obtain, and more attention will be given to health, welfare, and safety for everyone, I predict that there will be many new faces involved, as many of those from the past have moved on and found new interests and life in general has changed for them. So if we like it or not, the Drum Corps activity, as you have known it, will become very different. Changing times = new and different ways of doing things. While we are anxious to start recruiting and rehearing for the Pioneer’s WGI entries, we still we are still avidly watching the legal and health restrictions for large group gatherings. So let’s be patient, keep in touch with each other, and every day make the special effort of being, “Better Every Day!”


Right now our Pioneerland is very cold and quiet. Everything is packed inside or around our building. Batteries for all the vehicles are kept charged, and all of the snow is being plowed.


BINGO on Saturday evenings continues to do well. We have been always hit or come close to the government’s limit of 125 players. Still it does not give us much profit, but pays the bills for insurance, electricity, telephone, snow plowing, and office expenses. So when we begin again, we will start off with no debt, and a few dollars to get our Corps going once more. We are very thankful…..We are at this time more fortunate than many others.

To the left you see our new Progressive Board for our Pioneer Bingo. It was designed and made by “Fast Signs”, a new company in our area. They are replacing AAA Signs who have lettered our buses, drum heads, and other items for the past 40 years and who have gone out of business….sad to say the casualty of the virus. The board lists the prize money for the night and the number of calls that are needed to win the Progressive.

On Wednesday, March, March 3rd, will no longer have Bingo at the St. Francis Lion’s Club because they continue to be shut down, but rather restart our Wednesday Bingo sessions at the United Seniors of Wisconsin’s Bingo Hall. This move will be a positive opportunity to once again do well and give us a great opportunity to build up our treasury to when we once begin our rehearsals again. We are fortunate that we are the only organization in Milwaukee to have Bingo on Wednesday evenings. To help make all this happen, we are in need of 2 helpers on Wednesday Evenings. PLEASE consider helping us on Wednesday nights. If so, call us or email us at the numbers listed below:
414-327-2847…This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

mpsThe Milwaukee Public School system partnership grant funding to provide youth with positive, engaging opportunities in a safe environment during evenings and weekends during the school year. Pioneer has applied for instruction in brass, percussion, visual, and flag skills for rehearsals that will take place on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. We expect a large number of beginners, however we will be prepared to enhance the abilities of those experienced with some, as well as, advanced musical skills. This will be our first try for the grant. We give a huge Thank You! To Kathy Andrea (#112) Pioneer Alumnus, former Drum Major, and now the head of a huge accounting firm, for taking the lead of applying for the grant.


We sent a donation to help sponsor an indoor solo/ensemble contest by the Warriors Corps from Jamaica, New York. All Corps are doing today what they can to keep their memberships intact. In appreciation of our donation they sent us this patch that they gave to all of the participants.


Those who were in our predecessor Corps, “The Imperials of St. Patrick” in the early 1960’s should remember Sister Mary Benno. It was she who contacted Roman Blenski to teach brass for the Corps at St. Patrick’s Parish. While she passed away years ago, a former student, Greg Forciea (#453) sent us a very nice photo of her from after she retired (then, Joan (Mueller) Nugent. Greg recalled her patience and time spent instructing him to help be in the St. Pat’s Cadets. It was really “Class” on his part to say Thank You in writing after so many years.


T-shirts, Hoodies, DVD’s, etc., are available by calling or emailing: (414-327-2847…This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) the Corps Office. While we do not have One Day Amazon Delivery Service), we can get them to you.


Linda passed away unexpectedly this past January 31st. She was a member of the Corps during the early years in the Color Guard (Imperials of St. Patrick”. Records show that in 1965 she had perfect attendance and won the award for Best Flag. She will be remembered for her primness and attention to detail. She was having Cancer challenges that lead her to her eternal home. There will be a Celebration of Life held this summer.

michigans own

The Corps activity has lost a lifetime promoter, director, and fan, Mr. Robert Waskoviak. He was in a coma the last month of his life. He was at the Covenant Healthcare Center in Saginaw, MI. where he passed away on December 30th, 2020.

Bob was the founder of the Saginaires Corps and devoted his entire life to the organization. As time went on, the corps’ name was changed to Northern Aurora, and sponsored a very successful winter drumline called the “North Coast Academy.”

Being fully dedicated, part of his role as corps director also included being Bingo Chairman, Transportation Director, as well as anything else that was needed.

Bob was a relentless promoter and inspired many people to be a part of his corps, many of whom were from the State of Michigan including Bill Faulds, Andrea Birbilis, Dan Mihacko, Mark Elsworth, Joe Kuerzi, Richard Jensen, Steve Yoder, and Rick Roberts. He even invited Pepi Nataro from the East coast to be part of his creative staff. Please accept my apologies if I have neglected to recall everyone, especially those who went on to teach many other corps in Michigan.

Robert Waskoviak was born in 1930 in the city of Saginaw, MI. He attended the Arthur Hill High School and went on to obtain a degree in agriculture from Michigan State University. While working for the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce in 1965, he organized and started the Saginaires as well as a feeder unit called the Eagles. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and served as President of the Great Lakes Circuit. Along with John Angello, they serviced corps in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

In 1978 with the founding of Drum Corps Midwest (DCM), Bob was elected to and served as Treasurer every year after until the end of 2005. His skill of providing costs for proposed ideas, and insistence on fair and immediate distribution of earnings earned him both the confidence and appreciation from every corps. Bob, in 25 years, never missed a meeting and frequently was the calming voice in the meeting room, as emotions were often displayed. It has been said that the strength of DCM’s finances was due to Bob Waskoviak’s skills and untiring efforts in order to keep things fair and equitable in a competitive activity.

Mr. Waskoviak’s wife, Linda, and his sons would like to extend a special thank-you to their nephew, Doug Stearns and all of the wonderful doctors and nurses at the Covenant Healthcare Center for giving Bob the absolute best care at all times.

In keeping with Bob’s wishes, he was cremated. A celebration of his life is being scheduled for a time this coming summer of 2021.

So many youth and adults alike were given experiences that they would never have had because of Robert. “Well done thou good and faithful servant!”….RB

amazon smileBy shopping at smile.amazon.com, you can purchase everything that is contained in the regular amazon.com. The difference is that a portion of your payment to Amazon is donated back to the Pioneer Corps. Just type in the smile.amazon.com address, follow the prompts, choose Pioneer as the recipient of the donation, and then continue shopping like you normally would. You get good bargains, excellent service, and help our young members with our musical participation at the same time! Pioneer would like to thank the many who are now making use of this program. We recently received a nice check for your responses!


If you cannot lift the load off of another’s back, do not walk away, but rather lighten it.”…. Frank Tyger

Better Every Day!