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Color guard unfair target


My name is Lisa Lanning, and I'm the chief executive officer for the Crawford County Marching Wolfpack Band Boosters. I thought I would address some issues that have come up in the paper recently regarding our program.

I don't want to burn any bridges or give people the wrong idea; I'm not whining about what others have said or what they are doing to us; I just want to clear up some things and tell our side of the story. When it comes to my band kids, which includes my beautiful daughter, I can get quite defensive.

I need to start from the beginning. Back in January, I called the Marengo town hall, like I always have done, and scheduled roadblocks for our group. With the economy as bad as it is and the cutbacks within the school system, it is a decent way for us to raise funds. They put us on the calendar, and everything was fine. In early May, our color guard was there at our scheduled time when a mother was approached by a gentleman claiming that we were scheduled during a date when they were supposed to be there and that they were going to take it.

My volunteer adult did not know what to do, so she called me. I think I'm a nice person and, if he would have asked, I would have gladly relinquished that date and done ours another time. It was for Crusade for Children, which my brother uses for he has severe Down syndrome and is a deaf/mute. However, this person is very rude and just abruptly claimed his "territory."

I called the town hall and I even told them that I would switch and give them the spot, but they said, "No, I signed up for it and we should do it." Soon after that, I read in the paper about the board's decision to call off ALL roadblocks and the only way to have one is to get a permit from the INDOT. They were calling it off due to unsafe practices and the inconvenience it causes the public.

I understand the town of Marengo not wanting the responsibility of having anyone get hurt out there. However, the gentleman I am talking about led that decision with the board, making the claims that it was our guard that caused this decision due to their unsafe practices. He claimed that a guard member was tossing a baton in the air, which can cause damage to passing vehicles. However, I will admit that an ADULT was tossing something in the air but said there were no passing vehicles on the road and she apologized for doing it. This tells me that this man was up the road watching every move they were making. I would never allow a kid to do anything in the road that would bring harm to themselves or others. We have been doing roadblocks for years and have NEVER had an incident. With that being said, I still do not blame the Marengo board for making the decision to stop roadblocks.

After that meeting and all of this man's ranting and raving about public safety and inconvenience, guess who was up there a week later running a roadblock. Did he have a permit AT THE TIME? I don't know about some, but it takes longer than a couple of days to get a permit from any government agency. Last week, Relay for Life was having a roadblock there, as well. I am a supporter of both organizations; however, I feel our organization is just as important and we should have a right to collect funds, too.

This is a great group of young adults who work hard and represent this county with dignity and pride. How is it that we are inconveniencing the public and, yet, the other organizations aren't? I would love for this gentleman to explain that to everyone.

Now, let's talk safety. He claims it is unsafe for us to be out there and, yet, I can remember his group of people having very small children standing in the medium, with adults, of course, collecting money for Crusade.

How is that any more safe? I never had anyone out there under the age of 14 and always with adults supervising.

To sum this up, I think it's wrong to single our group out just because one person wasn't getting their way and was having a tantrum. I don't want to offend anybody, and I purposely left names out of this letter except my own. We are good people, and I feel that we were being slandered in the paper by this person because it came across that way, but maybe I'm wrong.

Now, we do not have the funds to cover expenses for our group and, unless someone steps up and is willing to sponsor us, we really don't know how we are going to get through this season. These are just kids, YOUR KIDS, trying to accomplish something bigger than themselves and that's hard to do when you have to fight against someone, who, in my opinion, was acting like a child themselves.

I hope I didn't hurt these kids by defending them in this letter.

Lisa Lanning
CEO of the Crawford County Marching Wolfpack Band Boosters
July 03, 2012


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