Volunteers 2017 – Year in Review

“Thank You!” Volunteers for a Wonderful Year in 2017!

A HUGE THANK YOU and special shoutout to all of our volunteers over the last year!  YOU make what we do possible and here’s why.

As a little background, our tracking of Volunteer activity has improved greatly over the past couple of years. There are still some areas for improvement and those will be addressed, but the data helps us understand how much of an impact You and the collective YOU can have in our organization and to benefit those we serve.

Anyway back to the point, for our fiscal year 2017 (Oct 2016-Sep 2017) the theoretical cost benefit that volunteers provided our organization, and ultimately our students, was approximately $152,150. This is obtained from the product of the sum of volunteer hours times a theoretical $10/hour payment.  (Colorado minimum wage is $9.30/hour). [FYI – the graph has a larger than normal spike in September due to many “catch up” hours being reported there.

If spread across our two fee based membership ensembles (Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corp and Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble) this is able to reduce those membership fees by about $760 per member. So if you’re a member, or parent of a member – please give a volunteer a hug or high-five for helping keep those fees down.

At a typical Denver drum corps camp we have approximately 35 volunteers and 350+ volunteer hours worked. There are roughly 90 slots for volunteers to sign up for at a camp in one of the 25+ shifts spread among 10 different jobs (i.e. the food service job has 7 shifts and each of those shifts has anywhere from 6 to 10 slots to fill).

Bingo is also a very large effort and entirely volunteer run. For the fiscal year there were 54 volunteers that contributed 4,239 volunteer hours. Bingo shifts are each Wednesday and Friday with 4 hour sessions. This is a HUGE benefit to our organization’s operations and greatly benefits our Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble.

There were 17 Blue Knights Drum Corps Touring Volunteers that accounted for 3,484 hours during June 18 and August 12, 2017. These were primarily via food service along with some van driving. Another 25 people provided 187 hours of drop-in help and/or uniform washing during tour.

Our Events are not possible without volunteer power. Whether for our Corps Encore, or Drums Along the Rockies, or Friendship Cups, or other various camps or clinics; volunteers fill many roles and allow for successful shows and happy attendees

We also were successful in building out a new 53’ food trailer for the drum corps using mostly volunteer effort. 783 hours of volunteer work by 29 individual over the course of 2-3 months. The result is a first class product that could set a new standard for drum corps mobile kitchens.

We will finish this off with a few boring or exciting statistics (depending on your interest level). Then special “Shout-Outs” to a few people that went way over and above with their dedication to our organization with their gifts of time. And finally we’ll close with a list of each and every one our volunteers during fiscal year 2017 (or at least those that made it into our system). Thanks to each and every one!!!!

Some Volunteer Statistics from FY17

  • Total Hours Worked = 15,215
  • Total Number of Volunteer Shifts = 1,250+ (Shifts ranged in length from 1 hour to as much as 16 hours for a touring volunteer, but typically shifts over the year were about 4 hours)
  • Total Number of Volunteers = 251 (See the names list below)
  • Average (Mean) Hours per Volunteer = 61
  • Median Hours per Volunteer = 12
  • Mode Hours per Volunteer = 4 (This is what the majority of volunteers worked)
  • # people volunteered 40 to 100 hours = 30
  • # people volunteered 100 to 250 hours = 18
  • # people volunteered 250 to 500 hours = 11
  • # people volunteered 500 or more hours = 7  (See brief write-ups below)

Our 500+ Hour Honor Roll

Each of these people dedicated over 500 hours of time (some are close to 1,000 hours) to our organization.

  • Thelma Fung Thelma is our Director of Development in charge of all our donor activity and associated fundraisers. She does what she does because she loves what we do.
  • Phyllis Ratterman and Joe Ratterman  The Rattermans run our bingo operations and support our Friendship Cup series and also DATR. Over the years they have run the gamut of volunteer duties. If it needed done – they did it.
  • Janet Archibeque Our wonderful Food Coordinator for Denver camps and also supports All-Days and parts of Tour with her time. If you don’t know Janet, you’re missing out.
  • Alex FactorThe Alumni Coordinator, Alumni Corps Coordinator, a board member, and volunteer at other activities. He’s very determined to rebuild our Alumni communication.  
  • Darrell Griffin Our Chairman of the Board and frequent volunteer with camps and other activities.  He’s a great advocate of our organization and is always willing to get hands-on with loading/unloading, cooking, cleaning, …  
  • Keith Huffman This is our Volunteer Coordinator and the guy that comes up with these numbers and names.  Don’t let him fool you that he knows what he’s doing; though he does like what he’s doing.
  • Diana Weeks  Diana was a wonderful Camp Volunteer and a Touring Volunteer with us last summer on the food trailer.  It’s awesome to have a parent invest so much time with us.

Our Honor Roll of The Invaluable

Below are all 251 people that volunteered during fiscal year 2017. Each name contributes to what we can accomplish. Thank you to the following!

Dan Acosta, James Acosta, Reyna Acosta, Ken Adams, Sarah Adams, Jane Akdoruk, Sam Alaniz, Kima Albee, Gene Alexander, Jerry Allen, Patti Allen, Beverly Allenson, Todd Allenson, Gregory Andersen, Tony Antonelli, Janet Archibeque, Orlando Archibeque, Jennifer Arnold, Hannah Ashton, Grace Axtle, Sandy Barker, Chris Barnhart, Joe Bartko, Lance Barto, Deana Beck, Sherri Bell, Susan Bellone, Jesse Bertsch, John Bertsch, Jack Bevins, Dyanna Beyer, Diana Boettiger, Jim Bolender, Lisa Bolender, Michelle Bradley, Roger Brooks, Doug Brown, Jenifer Brown, Tom Campbell, Lynn Carranza, Jenn Carrasco, David Castillo, Skylar Clark, Steve Clark, Amy Clark Cohen, Brian Clavin, Diana Clavin, Brian Cocos, Mark Cohen, Stacey Coleman, Val Collins, Addison Constantinides, Nathan Constantinides, Theodoros Constantinides, Debra Cook, Kevin Cook, Neil Corvino, Spencer Counts, Lisa Cowden, Ernest D’Ambrosio, Martha D’Ambrosio, Antonio D’Lallo, Justyn Davidson, Michelle Davidson, Michelle Davidson, Dena Divelbiss, Doug Divelbiss, Sandy Drouillard, Tim Drouillard, Rosie Dugan, Kristen Duncan, Sue Ehrlich, Abraham Eng, Keenan Evans, Alex Factor, Scott Factor, Shari Farthing-Brooks, Sandy Ferry, Heather Florence, Chris Freaney, Karen Frederickson, Angela Fritz, Thelma Fung, Victor Fung, Lexi Gardner, Jared Gerard, Bill Goddard, Ethan Goddard, Courtney Gramley, Alma Granado, Corinne Greenrod, Marcus Griess, Darrell Griffin, Deborah Griffin, John Griffin, Beth Hackett, Stuart Hackett, Jill Hall, Gordon Hamby, Jeff Hargis, Doug Harris, Karen Harris, Harry Helwerda, Gail Hipke, Lynn Hipke, Alex Hobson, Tammy Hobson, Chuck Holt, Grayson Huber, David Hueser, Sandy Hueser, Ann Huffman, Jeff Huffman, Keith Huffman, Kirsten Huffman, Leigh Huseman, Eric Jones, Helen Jones, Jeff Jones, Pam Kellen, Doug Kelley, Aaron Kern, Robin Kiss, Nicky Kroge, Scott Kuzma, Dan LaMacchia, Moriah Lane, Stephan LeBlanc, Ginny Lewis, George Lindstrom, Ryan Lindstrom, Sherri Little, Zachary Little, Paul Lopez, Pete Lumley, Marc Lust, Lucy Lyons, Juan Maestas, Alena Marciglio, Jacoby Marciglio, Kim Marciglio, Amanda Marquez, Tara Marshall, Cori Martin, David Maxwell, Erin May, Bob Mayhew, Bill McDougald, Teiko McDougald, Aubrey Metzler, Steve Miller, Michael Moore, Kim Morciglio, Kevin Morris, Chuck Murphy, Carrie Natvig, Todd Natvig, Carolyn Nelson, Dian Nelson, Sandy Nelson, Stefan Newman, Alex Nielsen, Bill Nielsen, Clarissa Nielsen, Mike Nikishin, Brenda Nowicki, Dillon Orozco, Del Owens, Erika Pagan, Rebecca Parry, Becky Paschke, Chris Paschke, Maria Paulek, Carlos Perez, Eddie Perez, Gretchen Perez, James Perez, Mateo Perez, Dianna Perry, Beverly Phillips, Andrew Ramirez, Frances Ramirez, Hannah Ramirez, Oscar Ramirez, Joe Ratterman, Phyllis Ratterman, Christy Ray, Daniel Regalado, Dennis Richard, Benjamin Richie, Phredd Riggs, John Riley, Lisa Riley, Betsy Riner, Pamela Roberts, Leonard Robinson, Penni Royston, Donna Rubiano Arriola, Andrea Russell, Ashley Russell, David Russell, Mikayla Russell, Pat Salwerowicz, Richard Schatzman, Tom Schemp, Mark Schultz, Jason Shin, Tracy Slocomb, Lee Smith, Emily Soder, Connor Stemler, Christine Strang, Dave Strang, Patty Sue Femrite, David Sutherlin, Patti Sutherlin, Kenneth Swartout, Scott Teetsel, Vivien Teetsel, Jeff Thomas, Kathy Thomas, Kathy Tilson, Jason Trust, Shannon Trust, Susan Tubutis, John Tyburczy, Daniel Unger, Leslee Urhan, Wendy Van Norden, Ericka Vance, Michael Velasquez, Cleo Washington, Keisha Washington, Teya Washington, Diana Weeks, Scott Weidner, Thea Whelan, Addison Whelchel, John Whelchel, Kendra Whelchel, Denise Whipkey, Kathleen Wilhite, Bernetta Williams, Jean Williams, Mellissa Williams, Rhea Witchie, Cynthia Wood, Shannon Wood, Dick Yadon, Suzanne Yamamoto, Sean Yates

[Report any omissions to Keith at volunteer@ascendperformingarts.org.  We are aware of some areas that need better reporting but your input can help improve that.  Thanks!]

Please consider volunteering with us this year and make 2018 great! 

Learn more at HERE:


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Ken Adams


Mark Arnold is one of the longest-serving Directors in Drum Corps International, serving as Executive Director of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps since 1985 and as CEO of Ascend Performing Arts since 2010.

Under his leadership the Blue Knights organization has developed into one of the premier Drum and Bugle Corps in the history of the activity, recognized Internationally for excellence and innovation in the performing arts. Through the years the Blue Knights has expanded its programing and now serves thousands of young musicians and performers annually in multiple performing ensembles, events and educational programs under the umbrella of the Ascend Performing Arts.

In addition to shaping the course of Ascend Performing Arts, Mark also has played an integral role in the ongoing development and successes of Drum Corps International as a collective. He served as chairman of the DCI Board of Directors in 1994 and again from 2008 to 2013. Mark was honored as Corps Director of the Year in 2004, and was the inaugural recipient of the George Bonfiglio Chairman’s Award at the 2012 DCI World Championships, which is given to an individual each year who demonstrates extraordinary leadership and service on behalf of DCI and its performing drum corps.  Mark was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Blue Knights Hall of Fame in 2019.

Prior to his position with the Blue Knights, Mark was the Assistant Director of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from 1978 through 1983, serving alongside Director Jim Jones, one of the founders of Drum Corps International and an inaugural member of the DCI Hall of Fame.  Mr. Arnold has a degree in Music Education from the University of Wyoming and taught High School Music in Wyoming and Nebraska from 1979 through 1985.
Mark Arnold


Scott Factor has served on the Ascend Performing Arts Board from 2012 to 2018 as a voting member in various positions including Vice-Chairman. Since 2019 my role has been in an Advisory position.

Outside of Ascend Performing Arts i am Senior Account Executive for Baxter HealthCare.
Scott Factor


I am currently an Ascend Board Member-at-Large.  I have been a volunteer with the Blue Knights since 2013.  I have been serving on the BoD since 2019.  I retired from the United States Postal Service in 2010.  Although I have never marched drum corps I am an avid fan of the activity and thoroughly support our members in any way that I can.  “We Go On”!!! 

Neil Corvino


Board member Kathy Black is an attorney in New Mexico practicing as a full-time litigator focused on employment and civil rights defense. She came to the law as a second career after twenty-five years in high tech with NCR Corporation, doing everything from operating systems programming to Vice President positions in engineering, customer services, and sales. She earned her JD from Lewis & Clark Law School and her BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Ms. Black is active as a percussionist in the Albuquerque area. Way back in 1978 she marched with the Guardsmen, including at DCI Finals in Denver.  After many years of being just a drum corps fan, she was elected to the Drum Corps International Board of Directors in January 2016 and served on that board until January 2022, including three years as chair. 

Kathy Black


Bryant’s path to the Ascend Board of Directors, which began in 2021 as a member-at-large, traces back to his childhood. Watching the Reading Buccaneers senior drum corps practice near his grandparents’ home ignited a lifelong passion, and a student of all thing’s percussion.

Years later a family move to Colorado provided Bryant with a platform to display his passion, both on the stage with the nationally acclaimed Green Earth Percussion Ensemble and on the field as a snare drummer with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps until his age-out year in 1984.

In his professional career as the Senior Director of Strategic Accounts at Yokohama Tire Co., Bryant credits the principles instilled by the marching arts and years on tour for his success. On a personal level, the arts played an even larger role, where Bryant met his wife, Stephanie. The Rankin’s currently make their home in South Carolina, enjoying time with their grown children, two incredible grandchildren, and their beloved brown lab, Zoey.
Bryant Rankin


Retired, Director, Office of Research and Analysis, Colorado Department of Revenue Ms. Archibeque served 26 years in the area of statistical analysis for the Colorado Department of Revenue and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Her skills in this area assist the board in developing a strategy for statistical analysis in the area of program evaluation. She has also been a significant volunteer managing and working with volunteers for the organization and will assist the board in understanding the complex nature of the organization. Her personal experiences as a minority and female can inform and promote a more inclusive environment and agenda for the projects that the board supports.

Janet Archibeque


Rob Batchelder was appointed to the Ascend Performing Arts Board of Directors in May 2023, and currently serves as Vice Chair. As a member of the Senior Foreign Service, Rob has represented the United States overseas in India, Poland, Germany, Argentina, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Namibia during a diplomatic career spanning nearly 30 years. He currently serves as Managing Director for Visa Services in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, DC. Rob marched in the Blue Knights hornline in 1987 and 1988, and he was Drum Major in 1989. He and his family live in Alexandria, Virginia, but his heart still yearns for Colorado.

Rob Batchelder