December 10, 2011
So, I get a call from Peggy Cooper letting me know I will be getting a call from her mentee at the San Diego Regional Airport. Peggy explains, "Tyra is from Detroit and I told her you were from Detroit and she needs to get involved in the community." After playing a serious game of phone tag, we finally connect. I joked with her about going to Cass Tech High School. I helped coach Birmingham Brother Rice High School to a Michigan State Basketball Championship in 1974. We beat Cass Tech in the final long before she was born.
We finally met for lunch on August 17. Believing that good questions are often far more powerful than answers, I start firing away. It sounds so simple, but I simply asked "Tyra, what did you do after Cass Tech?"
I quickly learned about how she attended Grambling State University. Here comes another. "How did you get to Grambling from Detroit?" She answered "they gave me a scholarship." Immediately, I jump to the conclusion "what sport did you play?"
Tyra laughed and said, "well I did play sports in high school, but my scholarship was for 'The World Famed Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band' otherwise known as the best band in the land." Quote unquote. She explained how she was a member of the drumline.
I replied, "I have always wanted to start a drumline program at our Y."
Less than four months from the time Tyra and I met for the first time, the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA Community Show Band Drumline debuted their 2011 Moved by Music Winter Icebreaker on December 10. This event showcased our new, year-round, southern style drumline. From high step marching, percussion technique, visuals, and movement; the intent of the show was to draw the community into the program and bring a greater interest from youth.
And it did!
Thanks to Tyra, through the power of Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum (or the power of one), she has managed to recruit the participants, secure the funding, and start a program that will be one we will be talking about for years to come. It's that spirit of volunteerism that makes a big difference for kids and families every day at our Y.
P.S. Look for the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA "Thunder Squad" Drumline at the Holiday Bowl Parade, UNCF Super Viewing Party, the YMCA of San Diego County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Dignity Award Breakfast, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade!
For more information email JackieRobinson@ymca.org or call 619.264.0144
VIEW: Photos from the 2011 Moved By Music Winter Icebreaker
READ: And the Beat Goes On...