Thursday, September 18, 2003

Good Things Happening

Competition band stays busy with traveling, games

Allen Howard

Drum beats mixed with the sounds of trumpets, saxophones, trombones, clarinets, flutes and an occasional cymbal spread across high school campuses almost every day.

That means it's marching band competition time all over the region.

The 145-piece Sycamore High School Marching Band heads to the practice field after 2 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It's preparing for the Ohio Music Educators' Association State Marching Band Competition Oct. 26 in Dayton.

"We qualified in Tipp City on Sept. 13," said David Swift, band director. "But we keep going to the other competitions."

Those will include West Clermont and Logan Elm on Saturday.

[IMAGE] Sycamore High band member Christine Troy, 17, a senior, practices for the Scottish routine "Culloden," Wednesday.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
"The Oct. 4 competition in Massillon is bigger than the state meets," Swift said. "We will be competing with bands from around the country."

The band also will be in Versailles, Ind., on Oct 18.

"This is a busy time for our marching band because we also appear at 10 football games," Swift said.

Rich in friendship

When honored at a retirement party last month, Errol Butt was left utterly speechless at the love, support and generosity of fellow Warren County employees. They had chipped in $3,000 for Butt, 47, who is battling cancer and retired from his longtime job as an investigator for the county prosecutor's office.

"That's the most money we've ever collected for any employee for any retirement. He was really, really liked," said Charlotte Erbeck, prosecutor's office manager.

About $200 of the donations went toward buying a badge designating Butt as a retired law-enforcement officer. The remainder was used to send Butt and his wife of nearly 23 years, Bev, on an all-expenses-paid trip to Niagara Falls. The couple rented a car, drove to the destination and spent three nights at the Sheraton on the Falls in Ontario, in a corner suite with a view of the falls.

Butt and his wife returned from their trip last Thursday.

"It was more than I ever expected," Butt said. "Not to be corny, but they say you can measure your wealth by the friends that you have. With those people in the courthouse and in other departments in the county, I'm richer than I could ever have hoped to be."


Earns master's degree

Michele Bamford of Mason has received a master's of business administration degree from the University of Cincinnati, graduating with a 4.0 grade-point average.

The daughter of Ruth and Ken Wheatley of Fairfield also was named the Outstanding College of Business Graduate Student.

Business graduate

Doug Teufel has graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

The Princeton High School graduate is the son of Mary and Mike Teufel of Evendale.

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The name of Cincinnati firefighter Oscar Armstrong III will be among those etched on a national memorial this weekend that honors firefighters killed in the line of duty.

When Armstrong, 25, died in March at a fire in Bond Hill, he was Cincinnati's first on-duty fire fatality in 22 years.

He'll be among 77 - all killed from June 2002 to July 2003 - honored Saturday in Colorado Springs by the International Association of Firefighters in the union's 17th annual ceremony.

Armstrong's sister; brother; and mother, Annette, who works in the city's planning and community development department, will attend the event.

Also going: four members of Cincinnati Firefighters Local 48, including Mike Walker, a driver at Engine 9, Armstrong's company.

"It'll be the first time we've been out there, our first name on that wall," said Joe Arnold, vice president of the local union.

"It should be a very fitting tribute to him.''

Armstrong left behind two sons and a pregnant fiance, who had their baby girl last month.

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