The Carolina Crown organization was founded in 1988 as the Charlotte Drum Corps Association, a group of local drum corps fans who gathered on an irregular basis to talk about drum corps and watch drum corps video. After organizing themselves with Bill Loelius as president, Kevin Smith as vice president, and Luanne Bialecki as Secretary-Treasurer, the group hosted two drum corps shows, Southern Gold Classic at Davidson College and NightBEAT at Charlotte's Memorial Stadium. Southern Gold Classic drew a small audience and lost money. NightBEAT was much better attended, but the group was unable to pay the stadium rental. When NightBEAT Chairperson Doug Madar, Bill Loelius, and Kevin Smith met with Charlotte Parks & Recreation Department Superintendent Marvin Billups to discuss working out some sort of payment schedule, they were surprised when Billups not only wrote off the bill for the 1988 NightBEAT but offered the Department's sponsorship for future shows. In 1989, a gift of $1000 was offered by the Queen City Optimists with the proviso that the organization start a performance group; after discussions initially centered on starting a drum line, Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps was born.
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