Mandarins Hall of Fame – Class of 2024

The Mandarins is pleased to announce its Hall of Fame inductees for the Class of 2024.  The Mandarins Hall of Fame was established in 2018 to preserve the memory of the special people who have brought honor to the Mandarins organization and who can serve as role models for current and future generations.

Esther Mar began as a parent volunteer in 1982 when the corps began rebuilding. Joining her husband Ray on a new administrative staff, she served as the corps’ treasurer, bringing her finance and banking expertise to the organization. Shortly after, she served as the president of the Booster Club, which soon enabled the re-emerging corps to begin embarking on big tours. For over 30 years, Esther volunteered at bingo, took the lead on souvenirs and merchandise, and chaperoned every winter guard performance, corps camp, and summer tour. During those years, she also regularly opened her home to members from out of town, becoming their corps mom, mentor, and role model.

Deanna Yee began her involvement with the Mandarins when her older son Darryl joined the corps in 1984, and she continued long after her younger son Michael finished in 1993. In all, she dedicated over 30 years of service to the Mandarins. From 1987 to 2005, Deanna volunteered as the Controller for the corps, making her responsible for accounting, budgets, and financial reporting. From 1984 to 2015, she volunteered nearly every week at bingo and participated in the corps’ sponsorship program, enabling dozens of members to fulfill their dream of marching with the Mandarins. Throughout the Division II/III era, Deanna regularly volunteered at practices, corps camps, shows, and the DCI summer tour, where her roles included chaperone, kitchen crew, uniform repair, medic, and cheering section. 

Cathy Sackett started with the Mandarins in 2011 and is known to Jim Tabuchi as the “Million Meal Momma Sackett” because if you added up all of the meals that she and her team served during her period as kitchen manager, it would actually be close to one million. Under Cathy’s leadership, the corps revolutionized its food service model to support a growing membership, adding over 20,000 meals per season. Prior to the creation of the current Health and Wellness team, Cathy and her team also served as the medical team. Perhaps most notably, Cathy led her team through the transition from a box truck to our current Mushu semi trailer. This involved reinventing all the kitchen processes, such as setup, food ordering, and cleanup. Besides her incredible work with the kitchen crew, Cathy also volunteered on the Mandarins Board of Directors.

Jerry Sackett also began volunteering in 2011 and is the unsung hero constantly working behind the scenes to build and maintain our Mandarins transportation fleet and corps warehouse. One of his first contributions was to organize the corps warehouse. Applying his warehouse management expertise he worked to partition the warehouse and even built the racking system that is still in place today. When the corps made the decision to transform from a box truck fleet to a semi trailer fleet, Jerry was all-in and tackled the inspection, purchase, planning, and building of the Dragon (the Mandarins equipment trailer). In fact, his back ramp design became a DCI standard that has been copied multiple times across the country. When the corps wanted to make the move to a food trailer, Jerry again dove in and researched other corps, rented a trailer to gain experience, and then worked on the purchase, design and build of Mushu. It is thanks to Jerry that the Mandarins always has what it needs to be successful on the road.


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