St. Jeanne d’Arc Music Association, Noordwijkerhout: New batons received with jubilation

Using toothpaste to polish baton caps before a competition or performance? A thing of the past for the baton twirlers and majorettes at the St. Jeanne d’Arc Music Association in Noordwijkerhout. Thanks to the support of the Schiphol Fund, they’re as bright as a new penny again.

St. Jeanne d’Arc goes back more than a century. In those 100 plus years, they’ve developed into a club with around 160 members and various divisions. The majorette and baton twirling division is made up of about 25 boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 18. ‘The majorettes parade on the street together with the corps’ says Sandra de Winter, chair of the majorette and baton twirling commission. ‘Enthusiasm for that started to wane and so we also began baton twirling. We see that as more of a sport.’

Point deductions

Unfortunately, the baton twirlers started running into a problem during competitions: the less-than-perfect state of their equipment. ‘Our batons were rather old; the caps were yellowing, and some batons were very damaged. That can result in point deductions, which of course we don’t want. Because when you’re standing there with your nice costume and looking tip top, you also want a nice baton in your hands.’

Received with cheers

And so, the club asked the Schiphol Fund for help. It came in the form of a donation of € 750, which was enough for forty new batons. The batons were received with jubilation. ‘The girls used to use toothpaste to make the caps on the old batons white again before competitions. And now they have brand new batons, they think it’s wonderful. We involved them in the purchasing process, they really looked forward to it. They think it's great and they’re really proud.’

New members

And the great thing is that the new batons are helping to attract new members. ‘We now have a cupboard full of old batons that our trainers can use when visiting primary school. Before, we had to ask our members for help. Now it’s a lot easier.’

An immediate hit

In short, an immediate hit! Even though € 750 isn’t necessarily a large amount of money. ‘Our division doesn’t make much money’, explains Sandra. ‘We actually cost more money than what we make. So this donation was a wonderful gift.’ She is also enthusiastic about the fact that the Schiphol Fund supports social organisations. ‘I think it’s great. Despite living below a flight path, I didn’t know about the fund. We’re very pleased that we were eligible for this!’

In October 2021, the St. Jeanne d’Arc Music Association received a donation of € 750 to purchase batons for their majorettes and baton twirlers.

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