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      Marty's Goldenaires host annual town picnic

      Marty's Goldenaires have been together for 45 years. They are also the only senior drum and bugle corps in the entire nation.

      â??Like they say, â??once a marine always a marine', once a Goldenaire always a Goldenaireâ?? said Bill Saily, one of the original members of the group.

      The town picnic in Bessemer is the Goldenaires' only fundraiser of the year.

      â??This funds the equipment needs: new hats, uniforms, pantsâ?? said Keith Graham, Commander. â??The corps owns all of that stuff and the hornsâ??.

      The group raised money on Saturday selling raffle tickets, food and drinks, and a bake sale. With the community's help, they hope to raise at least $5,000.

      â??I think they like to support us because we do promote the area and they like watching usâ?? said Chris Wuorinen, picnic chair. â??They like the music that we play and they have been really good supports.â??

      â??It is a fantastic event for the town, for Bessemerâ?? said Graham. â??All the businesses come together and donate to all of our raffles.â??

      Every hour a gift basket would be auctioned off. Some baskets were worth almost $500.

      â??All the businesses in the western Upper Peninsula do a tremendous job of supporting us, donating different prizes and gift certificates to all of the rafflesâ?? said Graham.

      Bill Saily and Bill Elliot are the remaining original members of the Goldenaires. Their years with the group has given them a lifetime of memories.

      â??I marched with my granddaughter and grandson in the parade one yearâ?? said Elliot.

      â??Let me put it this way, after 45 years, we have a lot of mileage on our feetâ?? said Saily.

      Of course, the Goldenaires would perform at the end of the night.