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Cambridge Women's Heritage Project

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Zappala, Dolores

Dolores Zappala (b. in Cambridge)
Community director
     Daughter of Tony Zappala, Dolores Zappala was born and raised in Cambridge. She was educated in Cambridge schools, graduating from Matignon High School in 1965. In the 60s she joined the Blessed Sacrament Color Guards (SAC) in Cambridge, and her sister Ann Marie soon followed her into the group. The young sisters’ involvement persuaded their father (at their mother’s urging) to become active in the organization with the result that he directed the SAC from the 1970s until his death in 1990. Dolores took on the roles of instructor, creative director (from 1980), manager, and finally president of Blessed Sacrament Color Guards over a forty year period.
     SAC traces its origin back to the 1930's when a local parish, all-female drill team formed in the Cambridgeport area of Cambridge, Massachusetts as a summer activity for young girls. The color guards remained the only surviving all-female color guard in the world until 2001. The youngest groups (the “B” and Cadet groups) still include only girls. The SAC is dedicated to teaching the marching and exhibition skills to “at risk” or disadvantaged youth who then perform throughout the world. Young women have been known to move across country and from Japan and other countries to join the group. The SAC Juniors were World Class Finalists for 22 of the last 27 years, and have been WGI World Class medalists five times; earning the World Class Bronze Medals in 1988 and 2005, World Class Silver Medals in 1989 and 1996 and the World Class Gold Medal and WGI World Championship in 1990. From 1999 though 2001, the SAC Juniors won three consecutive Eastern Massachusetts Titles. They placed among the top ten of the international color guard association, the Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships.
     Dolores Zappala served as President of the Board of Directors of the Winter Guard International for more than a decade, guiding the organization through critical years. She continues as a member of the steering committee of the Winter Guard International as well as directing and influencing the Cambridge organization.
Sarah Boyer oral interview
Blessed Sacrament Color Guards online site; (this includes a photograph of the Zappala family)
World Guard International online site

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Cambridge Women's Heritage Project
March 27, 2007

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