Passing the baton
Sherry Daley Jung, Arts ’62, began twirling at age 3.
A babysitter taught the tiny girl how to do a flat spin, which ignited a twirling fire. Jung’s love for the sport reaped a world of fun that has lasted more than 60 years.
“When I started there were mostly men twirlers,” she says. “They had more power to do tosses. You release it and then you pray you can capture it. It takes discipline.”
At age 15, Jung founded the Daley Debutantes Baton and Drum Corps. Marquetters may remember her performing at football games and the Daley Debutantes performing at basketball games for 25 years. Jung and sister Marcy Daley Blaufuss, Arts ’65, often flipped batons together, including at Marquette’s musical varieties, where they synced batons to perform Me and My Shadow in 1962.
Jung reels off spectacular twirling memories: winning a national championship at age 12, twirling on The Ed Sullivan Show and marching at the head of President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration day parade. The Daley Debutantes marched in two St. Patrick’s Day parades in Dublin. The group even appeared briefly in the parade scene in the movie The Fugitive with Harrison Ford.
More than 1,000 young people have claimed the title of Daley Debutante through the years and collectively won more than 42 national champion-ships. The debutantes still set the twirling tone for local parades and community events. Jung continues directing twirlers, assisted by a third sister, Patti Daley Wertschnig. Today there are 80 Daley Debutantes flipping their batons sky high. — Joni Moths Mueller