Along with his wife, Carole, Lou began volunteering with the corps in 1968, when one of his 6 children decided to join the corps. All 6 of those children ended up marching in the corps at one time or another, spanning 18 years, from 1968 through 1986. Known as the “Corps Dad” to many marching members in his time, Lou Avilla left a legacy of selfless service to the Santa Clara Vanguard.
He was an incredibly innovative equipment designer and craftsman, responsible for outfitting the equipment truck, developing the first fiberglass tenor drum harness, and building rifles with better weight and balance. Lou devoted much of his time to this organization and was always around to get the job done, no matter how big or small. And who of us that were around in those early days could ever forget “the Lou Avilla shuffle.”