In February of 1967, having served as President of the Board of Directors for the Sunnyvale Sparklers, Ed Leeson resigned his position there and, along with a handful of other parents from the Sunnyvale Drum Sparks, helped to form the first Booster Club for a newly formed drum & bugle corps that would later become known as the Santa Clara Vanguard. Ed was voted in as the very first Booster Club President of SCV and, under his leadership and direction, a strong Booster Club organization was formed. Through countless hours of very hard work and personal financial commitments, Ed was able to help purchase the corps’ first set of bugles and their first equipment truck (Clarabell). He worked with others to help organize the corps’ first Bingo game and continued to volunteer his time working Bingo through 1991.
Ed was determined to help make Gail Royer’s dream of creating a World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps a reality and his determination paid off. Three years after they started, SCV won their first of many titles, the 1970 American Legion Championship. One year later, the corps won the 1971 VFW Championship. In 1973 and 1974, at Warhawk Stadium in Whitewater, Wisconsin, SCV became the Drum Corps International Champions. Ed Leeson is remembered for many things, but one that stands out is the establishment of the “back office” of the Santa Clara Vanguard. He did EVERYTHING that needed to be done; drove the equipment truck; fixed broken bugles; built new flagpoles and located funds to buy new bugles. Ed even coordinated with other drum corps to form the Northern California Drum Corps Association. Ed did it all, and we’re happy he did.