Cadets Arts & Entertainment has filed for bankruptcy


With extreme sadness, we announce that Cadets Arts & Entertainment has filed for bankruptcy, bringing our corps’ competitive future to an end. We know this comes as a shock to many, and our Board deeply empathizes with all of the alumni, staff, donors, parents, and volunteers whose hearts are broken by this news.

On April 2, 2024, Cadets Arts & Entertainment (CAE) filed for voluntary chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. This action was unfortunately taken as a result of, among other factors, a sexual abuse lawsuit that was filed in September 2020, six months after CAE was formed. The lawsuit names, among other defendants, CAE and alleges that an incident occurred on December 31, 1982, at an unofficial event of the Garfield Cadets. CAE is compassionate to anyone who has experienced assault of any form. CAE has also vigorously defended the case. In response to motions to dismiss, the court found that plaintiff-stated causes of action require CAE and all successor organizations to defend this suit.

Despite good faith efforts to resolve the case, CAE was unable to do so, and CAE’s insurance carrier rejected CAE’s request to provide coverage to fund defense costs or a judgment from an alleged incident over 40 years ago. Importantly, member fees and charitable donations made to CAE were not used to pay for legal fees as CAE vigorously defended itself. It has become financially impossible to continue defending the case given the unknown and crippling financial strain the case has created and the impact of any potential judgment levied on CAE.

This situation has led to the heartbreaking and tragic decision by the CAE Board of Directors to end CAE and The Cadets program. Unfortunately, the necessity of chapter 7 bankruptcy means that The Cadets will never return to the marching arts competition field again or risk arriving back where CAE is today. Surely, this outcome is not the forward path hoped for by this Board when decisions were made to move to the incredibly supportive community of Erie, Pa., and the Erie Sports Center.

CAE will continue to exist as a legal entity throughout the duration of the bankruptcy process, though it will no longer have active operations. Alumni volunteers will continue to coordinate alumni social activities. The Cadets Hall of Fame process will resume in 2025 after a pause in 2024, allowing for the current circumstances. A formal agreement has been reached to place all legacy and historical items with Bill Ives and the Marching Pageantry Arts Museum in Upper Darby, Pa., pending any disposition by the bankruptcy Trustee.

The CAE Board would like to thank the management, staff, donors, volunteers, alumni, and members that supported CAE since its formation as a new organization in 2020. This tragic ending to all Cadets programs does not in any way take away from the accomplishments and success achieved since 2020, reestablishing The Cadets and charting a solid, upward competitive and organizational trajectory to the future. We also would like to thank our corporate sponsors and organizational supporters who were critical to CAE’s foundation of competitive and organizational growth and success, including but not limited to:

  • Yamaha
  • Stanbury
  • Apolla
  • BD Performing Arts
  • Vic Firth
  • Zildjian
  • Remo
  • DSI
  • CrownStore
  • Drum Corps International
  • Field and Floor FX
  • Warburton
  • Marching Health
  • Ultimate Drill Book
  • Lincoln Property Company
  • Giles Communications
  • SmartMusic

A special thank you must be made to the Erie Thunderbirds, the Erie Sports Center, Erie Bank, The City of Erie Mayor and City Council, all local Pennsylvania VFWs, the Erie YMCA, the Erie Police Athletic League, the Erie American Legion Posts and the entire Erie community. CAE cannot thank you enough for your kindness, support, and encouragement as we laid a new, 10-year foundation in our relocation to Erie. The future as your community partner was truly bright.

The Cadets’ memory will live on in our hearts and in our minds.

The Cadets Arts & Entertainment Board of Directors

One thought on “Cadets Arts & Entertainment has filed for bankruptcy”

  1. Hope all these young people travel over to Canton and make the Bluecoats an even better competitive corp than they have been and put an end to the Devils dominance. I have been a part of the Cadets for over 50 years and this is just unbelievable this could ever happen to a corp that has been around since 1934. Drum and Bugle has been a strong force out of Pa since it all began and to see it disappear is a huge slap in the face to the entire state. GO BLUECOATS!

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