"We should do something big. We should march because he always marched with us so we want to march for him,â?? said Kingsford High School band student, Bonnie Huse.
They conspired and strategized a marching formation unlike any other, and all for â??Holmzyâ??, Don Holmes to everyone else. Heâ??s been one of the band's most faithful mentors and volunteers for over 15 years.
â??Heâ??s a real presence,â?? said band instructor, Ben Sherk. â??Heâ??s easy-going; he supports the kids and just loves them. Heâ??s kind of like a band-father.â??
Heâ??s a band-father who repaired instruments, orchestrated marching formations, and helped with the well-known Kingsford Night Show. Why did he do all of this?
â??The kids,â?? said Don Holmes. â??Itâ??s an addiction; you love it. They give me so much more than I possibly could give them.â??
However, this past December Don was diagnosed with a serious form of pancreatic cancer.
â??My class is never quiet, but when it announced that in class, it was dead quiet,â?? Sherk said.
Thatâ??s when the students decided to give their 'band-father' a glimpse of the joy he had given them.
â??I looked out the window and saw what I thought was just the drummers coming because I heard the beats,â?? Holmes said. â??Then, â??there's some band kids coming into my driveway!â??
Not just some of the band kids; every single one of them.
â??After, he came out and he gave us all high-fives just like regular games,â?? Huse said.
â??He was just so excited; glowing would be the word,â?? Sherk added.
â??This is amazing. I mean, Iâ??m still speechless over it,â?? Holmes said. â??What can I say what they did for me?â??
â??It's so good to know that we can help him feel a little better just for a little bit and give him that memory,â?? Huse said.
Don recently had surgery to remove the tumor, has started chemotherapy, and he's now cancer-free. So the marching wasn't at a football game, and there werenâ??t any uniforms involved, but it's safe to say, this was the formation of the year.