As my time at Music for All comes to an end, I though it fitting to dedicate this throwback Thursday post to my first and favorite event, 2013 BOA Grand Nationals.

This past year’s Grand Nats was one of the most exhilarating, challenging, sometimes frustrating, and all around fun experiences of my life. Helping produce positively life-changing experiences for the participants, their families, and all of our amazing volunteers is something I will never forget. And, as a huge Colts’ fan, walking on the field, into the press box, and all around Lucas Oil Stadium was a dream come true.

As a non-BOA participant myself, I didn’t fully grasp just how important these championships were to our many fans.  But, I learned very quickly. One afternoon I, along with my fellow marketing assistant (we miss you Cristina!) were tasked with handling quite possibly the most prized possession in the house: The Eagle. We wheeled the trophy up from the field, through elevators and onto the main concourse. The looks we were garnering from passersby throughout the stadium gave me my first clue to just how “big” this was. A few stopped us to ask “Is that the real Eagle?”  When we answered with “yes, and we’re giving everyone the chance to get their very own picture taken with it,” their faces lit up.

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Soon, fans from all across the stadium began coming to our booth hoping to have their own moment with the trophy. We snapped photos, exchanged stories, and learned some really interesting history about the Eagle, and BOA itself. I can’t even tell you how many folks just wanted to come and look for their school’s engraving from past championships, and share a tale from that year’s marching season. The amount of joy that came from these people as they thought back to their marching days or stood next to the Eagle for the first time could have lit the entirety of Lucas Oil Stadium that weekend. 

This was the moment that cemented in my mind just how important Music for All is. BOA is not just a competition but, as we at Music for All like to say, an absolutely life-changing experience. I will never forget my time with Music for All, and am honored to add my name to the incredible legacy of the organization.