ST. MARYS – Ginny’s Ginger Snaps founder and coach Ginny Maurer is inviting the group’s over 1,000 alumni to help her celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary Saturday, Aug. 13 by participating in either of two options during St. Marys Summerfest.
Maurer said one option is riding on the Ginger Snaps float or simply marching along in the Summerfest parade on Aug. 13 at 4:30 p.m. Those who want to be in the parade must meet at the Shekinah Church, 519 Greenville Road, St. Marys by 4:15 p.m.
Another option is attending their 50th anniversary reunion party at the Wishing Well building right after the parade. “We will meet on the 2nd floor of the Wishing Well at 153 E. Spring St. in St. Marys.”
During the party, Maurer says a free raffle/door prize will be held and refreshments served.
“For those of you that won’t be able to make the parade or party,” said Maurer, “please take the time to drop a note and let me know what you have been doing since you were a member of the Ginger Snaps Baton Corps or The Snaps Drum Corps.”
Maurer has reason for wanting the celebration; it’s 50 years of dedication to the art of baton twirling.
“Ever since I taught myself to twirl by looking at a book on twirling in the seventh grade, I have loved it,” she said. She said she took formal training with DeeAnn Westrich of Delphos and later traveled to Dayton to take more advanced lessons from Judy Marshall.
Maurer said she loves the sport of twirling. “The corps provides a way for local girls to learn a skill and be part of a group,” she said. “Baton twirling provides physical fitness, gracefulness, self-confidence, leadership skills, teamwork and new friendships.”
Maurer formed the group Ginny’s Ginger Snaps in 1972 in Kettlersville, where she sill resides. Over their history, they have won many awards, including World Twirling Association awards such as National Show Team champions, Ohio State champions, Junior Ohio state parade corps champions, National Dance and Twirl champions and Show Corps champions.
“We traveled to many states attending the Nationals,” she said, “and they were fun but a lot of work.”
She added that many families used the events as family vacations, and they went to places like Nashville, Tennessee, Spartanburg, South Carolina, Cleveland, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio ,and Essington, Penn.
“For many years, we also had a drum section called ‘The Snaps’ who added a beat to the girl’s performance.”
Maurer said all this has created many happy memories for the twirlers and their families.
She said another secret to the group’s success is that they hold many social events throughout the year.
Currently, the social activities include a Valentine Cake Walk, Giant Easter Egg Hunt, Summer Picnic, Halloween and Christmas. Each year, the girls receive trophies, medals and certificates at an annual awards program.
The current group of approximately 25 girls participate in many local parades, perform at nursing homes, put on a baton recital.
She said quite a few of her students went on to be majorettes or featured twirlers in high school and college.
She thanks the many people who assisted her through the years including Tom Knous, Sr., Steve Ginter, Mike McGlaughlin, Mark Elsass, Clarence Pfaadt, Jeanne Ginter, Chris Knoss, Angie Shiepline and Maggie Brunner-Harner.
After 50 years, Maurer is still teaching classes in her Kettlersville studio. “Classes start the first Monday after Labor Day,” she explained, “and all corps uniforms, warm-up suits, hari bows, T-shirts, socks and recital costumes are provided at a cost of $15 per month.
More information can be found by calling 937-726-0336 or emailing [email protected].