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The Cadets Hall of Fame Committee has announced the following is a nominee for the 2012 Class of the Cadets Hall of Fame.

Cheryl Philhower-Gillick

Nomination Letter

It is with great pride that I nominate Cheryl Philhower-Gillick, not only is she a life long friend of mine, (we grew up around the block from each other and were inseparable), but she is also a true original Holy Name Cadet.

She is from the town of Garfield, born and raised and was involved with the corps from a very young age.

She started out as a Plebe and worked her way into the "big" corps, The Holy Name Cadets with the traditional old school ceremony.

Not only did she fill her car with as many people that could fit, so everyone could get to practice, she opened up her house to the NOLA crew when George Hopkins was recruiting down south to re-populate the Cadets, so we could field a corps.

She was in the Cadets for 8 consecutive years, spending her entire teenage years marching until she aged out in 1985 as a Garfield Cadet, and what a year to age out, as we won our third DCI 1st place title!

Cheryl was always at the winter camps, when there were only a few of us there and it seemed like there was little hope for survival, but she practiced hard with her head high and never missed a beat to help keep the corps going.

She made everyone feel welcome and fostered an atmosphere of tradition, pride and excellence.

If it wasn't for people like Cheryl, I truly believe The Cadets would not be the force of nature they became and still are today.

Debra (Debi) Gozdek
1978-1985 Alumni

Support Letters

Please consider this letter of support for the nomination of Cheryl Philhower-Gillick into the Cadets Hall of Fame.

A successful and rich heritage is not easy to copy. Teams in professional sports try their best every season to remake themselves into whomever the Champions were the year before, just like drum corps have done since our activity began. There are many proud organizations with a storied history and remarkable achievements under their belts. But there is only one Cadets, and a perfect example of how that rich heritage and honorable image has been allowed to sustain itself from generation to generation; Cadets like Cheryl!

Cheryl began her 10 years with the Cadets as a Garfield Cadet Plebe in 1975 (Through 1977) and aged-out as a Cadet in 1985 after seeing fewer and fewer members with an address in Garfield, NJ.

The most outstanding reason for casting your vote for Cheryl is her unbelievable dedication and unselfish contributions to the silent, unknown promotion and improvements in the Cadets from 1975 through today. From the Cheryl who marched and stood out as a talented guard member, to the person who worked on Staff, and the Alumni who continues to support the cadets and the drum corps activity from today into the future, so there will always be a place for our kids and grandkids to enjoy.

I was most fortunate to march in 1980 along with Cheryl, and the other marvelous members from that year. It is often spoken about as a year of transition, or other mystical events that time has a way of enhancing. But I believe that every year between now and 1934 has been a magical year for our corps that began at the Holy Name church in the cradle of drum corps. The people who still form the connection will all tell you the same if you ask. It’s the members like Cheryl who were there to greet new Cadets and invite them over to eat, or sleep in the living room (and never leave!), and become a part of her family. There is nothing that compares to a drum corps family, and I hope that you all will honor Cheryl as a truly outstanding member of our Alumni family with your vote to place her in our Hall of Fame.

Thanks so much.
Dane DuFour………………….”44 Grand St. Forever” !

I am writing this letter to you in view of the fact that this is the period of award nominations in this great organization of ours. Therefore, I am writing to express my support for the selection of Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick for the 2012 Cadets Hall of Fame.

My letter of support of Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick for this prestigious award is not without basis as I have my reasons. These include various facts; it is widely known that Mrs. Philhower-Gillick is one of the pioneering members of the Cadet organization. I have known her for more than twenty-nine years. My relationship to Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick has changed over the years- as a marching member of The Garfield Cadets, a volunteer with CMBC and USSBA, and a member of The Cadets Alumni Association.

The Cadets (formerly the Holy Name Cadets, Garfield Cadets, and Cadets of Bergen County) was founded in Garfield, New Jersey. Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick was born and raised in Garfield, New Jersey and began her drum corps career at a very early age. She was a member of the Plebes for two years (1976-1977). The Plebes were a junior drum corps that acted as a feeder corps to the Garfield Cadets. They were based in Garfield, New Jersey. Following her tenure with the Plebes she made the transition into the Garfield Cadets in 1978 where she was able to take her drum corps interest to a more competitive level. At the end of her first year the corps placed 14th at the DCI Championships. After coming back from 1978-1985 for a total of eight years as a member of the Garfield Cadets, Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick went on to capture the DCI Division I World Championships in 1983, 1984 and 1985. The three consecutive victories from 1983-1985 were the first “three peat” in DCI history.

The Cadets have moved their headquarters from Garfield, New Jersey, to Bergenfield, New Jersey and then to Allentown, Pennsylvania and Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick continued to stay active and closely involved working in the office in the early 1990’s. Youth Education in the Arts (YEA) was founded in 1990 with the mission to provide programs for thousands of talented performers to participate in pageantry events and Mrs. Philhower-Gillick was there from day one volunteering for CMBC, USSBA and today for US Bands. Her service continues to impact today’s youth in extraordinary ways as an adjudicator for US Bands. In her role as an adjudicator she inspires and challenges the participants and educators to perform, grow and achieve. Her commentary and feedback help communicate and deliver the message of US Bands which is to focus on education, quality service and support to each one of its member schools programs.
Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick exemplifies the quality of an outstanding Cadet, dedicated leader, volunteer and champion who possesses personal integrity and unselfish service. I am an ardent admirer of her giving spirit to our organization no matter how demanding or pressing the situation. This modern-day Cadet woman inspires and possesses that unique consummate style of a champion that can help weave the thread of dreams and add to the tapestry of the Cadet organization which will continue to go beyond tradition.

It is Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick’s contributions that have given life, breadth and depth to the message and vision of the Cadet organization. I would urge you to join me in supporting the nomination of Mrs. Cheryl Philhower-Gillick into the 2012 Cadets Hall of Fame.

This is thanking you for your help, time and assistance with the above. It is greatly appreciated.

Anthony Paradiso

I consider it a great honor to have this opportunity to compose a letter in support of legendary Cadet, Cheryl Philhower-Gillick’s nomination for the 2012 Cadet Hall of Fame class.

I took some time to review the past recipients of this prestigious honor and couldn’t help but notice that the vast majority of previous honorees were instructional or support staff members. While they are certainly deserving, it was Cheryl’s commitment, dedication and undying love for the Cadets organization that was a determining factor and major catalyst for the championship corps of the eighties and beyond. Cheryl always has epitomized what it means to be a Cadet!

As we are well aware, the corps has gone through many turbulent periods in their distinguished history. Whether it was the lack of finances or membership, the corps always pulled through. I feel that Cheryl’s contributions to the corps, especially in the early 1980’s helped determine the future of the organization in a period when it was not considered an elite group by many.

I vividly remember my first Garfield Cadet rehearsal in November of 1980. George Hopkins recruited me from my high school band and drove me to all of the winter rehearsals. I really only knew George as a bus driver and an instructor for my school’s drumline. I had no idea what I was in for. I was a naive fifteen year old and did not know a soul except for George. The day of my first rehearsal was filled with countless hours of long tones and lip slurs. Some skinny red haired guy named Donny Van Doren kept repeating over and over “say the DA, say the DA” (usually with some colorful adjectives thrown in for emphasis); I wasn’t sure this was for me. I wanted to play music, not just “say the DA” for eight hours!

The hornline (all twenty something of us) was practicing in an upstairs room of the Garfield YMCA. At the end of that long Sunday practice; the corps was united for the first time in the gymnasium on the first floor. By that point, I already had one foot out the door and was determined to leave Garfield and “saying the DA” far behind me.

All of a sudden, an angel appeared, “Hi, I’m Cheryl. Welcome to Garfield”. She was the first member to welcome me to the Cadet family. She took a real interest in me and made me feel welcomed. She then began introducing me to other members. It was then that I realized that this organization would amount to much more than just an adventure in lip slurs for me.

Cheryl was a real “Garfield girl!” She lived and breathed Maroon and Gold. 1981, in my humble opinion, was the end of an era. It was for me anyway; the last year I viewed the Cadets as a “local” corps. A place where local members hung out during the off season. The success of that corps with a new direction in staff paved the way for the future greatness of the modern era of Cadets. In 1980 and ‘81, people did not come to the corps in search of a ring. The closest thing that resembled a ring in those days was the round pastries from the Dunkin Donuts next door.

Cheryl welcomed everyone to the corps with championship caliber enthusiasm. As a true Cadet she wanted to see others enjoy the magnificent experience that this corps could offer. I was not alone, there were countless others that also benefited from her warm, kind and nurturing demeanor.

I was a local Bergen County boy so I had a bed to go home to. However, many of the Cadets in 1980 and 1981 were from New Orleans and other far off destinations. They didn’t have the means to pay for hotels so instead; they stayed at the “Hotel Philhower”. Cheryl and her mom never thought twice of opening their home to those that needed a place to crash or a warm meal.

Without Cheryl’s unwavering dedication to the corps, I am not sure that the Cadets would have survived those lean winter months.

Cheryl was not a famous drum major, soloist or instructor of the corps, SHE WAS THE CORPS! From her early days as a plebe to her veteran years as a leader of the ground breaking Color Guards, she exemplified the finest attributes of a model Cadet. She still does to this day!

I cannot think of anyone more deserving at this time than the heart and soul of the early ‘80’s Cadets, CHERYL PHILHOWER- GILLICK!


Matt Tracey
Garfield Cadets 81,82,84

Way back in 1975 the “Garfield” Cadets had a little feeder corps called the Plebes….. it was at this time that I first met Cheryl, along with a whole crew of boys and girls… most of whom lived in Garfield. We all showed up faithfully to practice hoping to gain enough experience to “graduate” to what we called the “Big corps”. Sure enough for the 77-78 season, Cheryl was chosen to make the move upward and proudly wear the Cadet uniform. Cheryl spent the next 8 years wholeheartedly dedicating her time, her heart & even sharing her home for the good of the corps. Although the years leading up to the early 80’s were not the most memorable in terms of the “success” of the Garfield Cadets…. Cheryl remained straight and true to her corps.. The Garfield Cadets, stuck and stayed through the difficult months leading up to the 1980 season not knowing what the fate of the corps would be. Believing and holding her head high… she opened her arms & home to welcome the out of town recruits that would essentially and not very eventually lead the corps to multiple championships in the early ‘80’s.

Cheryl is an alumni with three DCI World Championship rings, just incredible!

Cheryl has remained true to her passion in regard to drum corps…. having remained involved in the activity (including but not limited to the Cadets) for the decades following her tenure with the corps. Whether it be teaching, administrative work or alumni involvement Cheryl continues to contribute to our sport… the sport of music in motion.

It is with tremendous respect and love that I nominate Cheryl Philhower Gillick to this wonderful honor of being chosen to join the others in the Cadets Hall of Fame. Cheryl hails from the roots of this great legacy called the Cadets.

Respectfully yours,

Andrea Martino

Garfield Cadet Plebe Corps 1975, 76, 77
Garfield Cadets 1977,78,79

It has been said that the highest honor any member of our organization, past or present, can receive is to be elected to our hall of fame. It is in my opinion that such an honor be bestowed upon Cheryl Philhower-Gillick.

Cheryl was one of the last TRUE Garfield Cadets. Having come up through the ranks of the Garfield Plebes she graduated to the big corps in 1978. Little did she know at the time but she had embarked on a journey wthiich saw the corps climb from a 16th place finish in 1979, a disastrous winter turned successful summer in 1980, and a unprecedented rise from 7th place to DCI's first three-peat winning the championships in 1983, 84, and 85. Through her dedication, commitment and hard work, she was one of the core members who sewed as the backbone one of the most innovative color guards in DCI history..

Cheryl's devotion to the corps continued well past her ageout. She has spent countless hours volunteering at the corps office. She became involved with what is now "US Bands" from the very first show in 1988 to this very day. You could always find Cheryl at a show doing everything from tabulating to show coordinator. Now she is a well-respected adjudicator. Over the years I have had the privilege of teaching alongside Cheryl and seeing firsthand how she has passed along her experience and knowledge to a generation of kids through drum corps and marching bands as a top notch instructor.

To me, Cheryl has embodied everything it means to be a Cadet and has lived her life accordingly. Therefore I wish to place Cheryl Philhower-Gillick's name into nomination to receive our highest honor, Cadet Holl of Farmer.

Respectfully submitted,
George M Lea (1981-1982)

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