In the fall of 1996, Pacific Crest launched its first-ever Tour Fund Drive. The first check to arrive was from Ron and Kara Nelson. Since then, the Nelsons have become two of the Organization’s most dedicated donors. They are members of the Angel Level, attend summer drum corps performances, Sneak Preview, and even our end-of-season banquet. They have truly become one of our family!
Written by Kara, Ron’s wife…
One rainy Saturday afternoon in the early 1990s Ron was channel surfing and stopped at a DCI performance. We were entranced and have been for the last twenty years.
Ron retired in 1990 and when I retired in spring, 1992, we traveled across the United States for seven months, happened to be near Madison, WI in August and attended the National DCI competition. That was it–we were now aficionados!
When we got home in summer of 1993 we happened to see a squib in the local newspaper that there was to be a performance in our local stadium and we attended. While our seats in Madison were spectacular, they didn’t have any backrests and we left after the winners were announced. Being new to the genre, we didn’t know about Victory Concerts. Here in Long Beach we were more comfortable, were much closer to “the action” and were “blown away” by the finale.
It was announced that this was the first year Pacific Crest had taken the field — with only 33 musicians! We thought they probably needed support and, since we were new to the field also, we decided to follow them. That’s it! We’ve been enjoying the gain in stature of the Pacific Arts Youth since.
Ron had roller skated from age 14 until his mid-thirties, first for fun and later in competition. His skating club went on to participate for several years in shows televised in the early 1950s on KTLA. Following a back injury, he served as a competition judge in several nationwide events. Marching in my high school and junior college bands was VERY different from what the DCI participants perform now. I thought it was a BIG deal to form block letters on the field and to memorize a different fight song each week.
While our admiration for the Pacific Crest members is beyond words, we also realize what dedication is required of the guiding adults. We are SO proud to be a part of this organization.