West Point Marching Band Forced to Skip Columbus Day Parade

Oct 14, 2013, 07:45 ET from Columbus Citizens Foundation

Government Shutdown Bars Historic Band's Participation in Community Outreach

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The West Point Marching Band – scheduled to lead the 69th Annual Columbus Day Parade in New York City on October 14, 2013 – has been barred from marching in the parade because of the government shutdown. 

"The cancellation of the West Point Marching Band in the 69th annual Columbus Day Parade, which we learned about officially only on Friday, October 11, three days before the parade, was every bit as regrettable for the Band as it was for us," said Frank Fusaro, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation.  "The Band is made up of active-duty soldiers who are also virtuosos from across the United States.  Historically, and for over two centuries, the Band's members have been ambassadors of our country.  It is very regrettable that for reasons unrelated to their professionalism and commitment to our country that they are unable to perform on Fifth Avenue this Columbus Day."

Mr. Fusaro continued, "New Yorkers and tourists from across the nation and around the world who come to the Columbus Day Parade this year will enjoy a spectacular event, with over 20 marching bands, but regrettably without the West Point Band leading the Parade." 

Leading the Parade instead will be the Ohio Northern University Marching Band, known also as the Star of Northwest Ohio. 

The Band's appearance was to be underwritten entirely by the Columbus Citizens Foundation, which months prior to the government shutdown had agreed to pay for all costs, including transportation, tolls, and meals. 

The West Point Marching Band is part of the U.S. Military Academy Band.

About the Columbus Citizens Foundation: The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement.  The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. In the current school year, the Foundation is providing over $2 million in scholarship assistance to over 500 students.  In 2013, the Foundation donated $256,000 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which supports American military personnel and their families.  The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929. 

Press contact:   Andrew Decker, 212.222.4688, decker06@gmail.com

SOURCE Columbus Citizens Foundation