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Suburban Chicago students with disabilities march on despite drumming equipment theft

Despite equipment theft, King Cobras march on despite setback
Despite equipment theft, King Cobras march on despite setback 02:21

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A non-profit that runs a drumming program for students with disabilities could use some help.

Thieves took tens of thousands of dollars worth of their drums and equipment, but the mission and the music go on.

"We serve the community in a special way with an educational and a performance program."

The King Cobras Drumline finds its rhythm in the direction of Dale Hallerberg.

"And we just have a gas beating the snot out of the drums to the music."

He's proud to lead a program in the Rosemont area – that brings customized drums and music to students with disabilities.

The King Cobras Drumline is part of the Cavaliers Arts, Performance, & Education, Inc.   

"We're not saving the world. I don't pretend that we're saving the world, but we're doing a little bit to make their lives better, more fun, but also delivering some education," Hallerberg said.

But recently, their mission seemed to face a setback.

Dale planned to haul a trailer full of drums and sound equipment to Champaign for a special halftime performance at the Illinois-Nebraska men's basketball game.

"When my wife and I got to our storage place for our trailer, it was gone," Dale said.

"All of our equipment, our trailer, our drums, our stands. All was gone."

A stolen trailer could have derailed plans for that performance, but the show went on, and the King Cobras did not skip a beat.

Dale said he borrowed equipment from another drumline group he helped create in Crystal Lake.

"Those students, those participants, they had no idea that we had any challenges," Dale said.

The challenge moving forward is replacing what was lost.

"It adds up to a pretty big number. It's somewhere in the range of $25,000," Dale said.

The King Cobras created a fundraiser to rebuild and expand.

"And to multiply by at least four times the number of students and participants that we have that we impact every year," Dale said.

Marching on with the mission and not even a thief can throw off their rhythm.

"There is no doubt that the program is so important to our participants that we're not going to let that stop us," Dale said.

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