OHS Drumline Making a Difference
Earlier this summer, members of the Orange High School Band’s drumline entertained participants of the 12th Annual Northeast Ohio Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome at Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland. Their music kept the crowd energized and helped keep the pace as the walkers made their way around Progressive Field.
“We were there to show support for fellow drumline members, Alex Simon and Jake Rose, who both have Down Syndrome, said OHS senior and drumline section leader Logan Margolis. “These two students have made a huge impact on the lives of everyone on the drumline, and we were happy to help show our support.”
The Up Side of Downs hosted the walk. The organization exists to provide support, education and advocacy for people with Down syndrome, their families and communities throughout Northeast Ohio.
“Being close friends with Alex since we were young, I saw how hard it was for him to grow up living a normal life, said Logan. “We wake up every morning and complain how we have too much homework, or don't have enough time to spend with our friends and we think we have it rough. Yet seeing Jake and Alex with a smile on their face everyday has shown me how good some of us have it.”
During the walk, a 2 year-old boy named Taiko decided to join the drumline. Taiko has Down Syndrome and he was at the Buddy Walk with his parents in support of the Upside of Downs organization. According to his family, he has always had an affinity for drums and though his name is Taiwanese, in a funny coincidence his name in Japanese means "drum." The simple act of acknowledging him, and then letting him play brought huge smiles and was very much appreciated.
“I wanted to somehow put a spotlight on your Drumline though, because not only were they very good, but they were kind enough to indulge a little boy and let him play with them,” said Yuta Hsu, Taiko’s father. “That absolutely was a highlight of the day.”
Orange parents were on hand at the Buddy Walk sharing information with those in attendance about the importance of ending the use of the “R-word”.
This is the second year the drumline has participated in the local Buddy Walk. In 2011, the drumline along with OHS Project Support also held a special concert raising more than $600 for the Up Side Of Downs. They plan to help out some way again this year.
As for Alex and Jake, their influence with their classmates and in particular the drumline has made a positive difference in the lives Orange students and in the greater community. “These boys truly touch the lives of anyone they interact with, as most people would be happy to tell you,” added Margolis.