Thompson Scholarship

The Doug & Helen Thompson Scholarship Fund is intended to empower students of color through strengthening their positions within the marching arts community. All donation proceeds will be awarded and applied to marching arts students’ membership fees, uniform costs, or equipment costs.

Doug & Helen Thompson were community leaders & drum corps owners from Northern Ohio. Operating the Lake Erie Drum & Bugle Corps (also known as the Lake Erie Drill Team) from the 1960’s to the 1990’s, the Thompsons were able to provide an escape for scores of African-American youth. Many Blacks in the Sandusky, Ohio area attribute a portion of their success in life to the lessons learned from Doug & Helen Thompson. In 2007, The Thompsons were awarded a community service civil rights award by the State of Ohio for their work with African-American youth. Following in their footsteps, daughter Marian Thompson became the featured twirler at Ashland College (now Ashland University) and founded a Sandusky-based baton twirling team. Grandson J.D. Ralph became a marching drummer for the NBA’s Orlando Magic and founded Drumlines Of America. J.D, his family, and Drumlines Of America continue to honor the The Thompsons’ legacy and their mission of educating students of color in the marching arts.



$20 – helps a student purchase small hardware items (sticks/mouthpieces)

$50 – helps a student rent an instrument

$300 – helps a band student pay membership fees

$2000 – helps a drum corps student pay membership fees

ANY amount helps!

Checks made payable to: Drumlines Of America. Mail your check to: 2217 Doer Ln. Apopka, FL 32703. Please add “Thompson Scholarship” in the memo.

All donations are deposited into a separate bank account and cannot be accessed without the consent of at least 2 of the Thompson family members.

APPLY(current deadline May 1, 2021)

Application Requirements:

-must be a current/future student of a marching band, drum corps, drill team, or other marching arts organization.

-must be a resident of the United States.

-must identify with an ethnic group commonly defined as a minority in the United States.

-must provide video link to a performance.

-must apply using the form below.

Scholarship recipients will be contacted before May 31, 2021.

Have questions about this form? Please email us at

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