March 31, 2021
We cannot think of a better way to conclude Women's History Month than to pay tribute to a great one. Beth Miller was both legend and legendary. She was "all in" when her daughter, Jolene, joined the Colt .45 Cadets color guard in 1967. Jolene, herself, became a Colts legend earning the nickname "Trigger" as color guard sergeant of the Colts championship winter guard in the mid-1970s.
Our earliest listing of board members shows Beth served as Booster Club Board President in 1974–1975. She also served as finance chair for the Corporate Board. She joined the Colts Corporate Board of Directors in 1976, continuing as finance chair, and in 1978 served her first year as the Corporate Board President — a role she would accept again from 1989–1991. She was a fixture on the board until her passing just two weeks after Music On The March in 2009.
"Mom got involved two minutes after Bob Buelow let me in at 10 years old," said Colts Hall-of-Famer Jolene Miller O'Toole. "She lobbied in Des Moines for bingo games and got many people to contribute to the corps. [It] made me stand back and go, 'Wow, what an amazing woman!'" Beth preceded her daughter as the first woman selected into the Colts Hall of Fame in 1994.
Beth did not just occupy a board seat. She used her skills as a telephone company sales representative to secure advertising in the Music On The March program booklet. She got so much support from the business community that the booklet eventually topped out at 96 pages. The annual revenue Beth generated for Music On The March ensured the financial success of the event — rain or shine.
In November 1985, Bob Buelow and Board President Rich Theobald proclaimed, "In recognition of her many years of service, energy and positive thinking, her strength of character, her guiding hand, her zeal and tireless labor, her morals and morale, and her resourcefulness and tenacity, we the members and boosters of the Colts proclaim Beth Miller 'Godmother of the Colts.'"
Former Board President (1999-2002) John Woodin shared this life lesson. "I now have stronger toes because of Beth Miller. I spent some years as president of the Colts Board of Directors while Beth held board positions. My toes are stronger because Beth kept me on [them] during each of those years. Beth was dedicated to what the Colts are all about and was tireless in her efforts for the participants. Because of Beth's dedication to the organization, we are stronger, we are focused, and we are all on our toes."
Former Board Member Glenn Baughman writes, "Beth's legacy to the Colts is unique and without peer."
And another former Board Member Rod Bakke maybe sums it up best: "People may forget what you did. People may forget what you said. But people will never forget how you made them feel. Beth Miller made you feel good."
We love you, Beth! We are here because of your dedication, determination and perseverance. And we hope your inspiration continues to drive the soul of our organization. On this last day of Women's History Month 2021, we salute the one and only Beth Miller.
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