WHEATLAND – On Saturday, visitors from throughout the area enjoyed a fun night of fellowship and music at the Fairgrounds, as part of a community fundraiser for worthwhile programs for Platte county veterans.
The concert was the joint effort of VFW Post 3558, American Legion Post 10, as well as local businesses and individuals who helped sponsor the event.
Nearly 500 people attended the concert.
“I was overwhelmed with the support and the turnout for the event. It is so humbling to be a part of this community and have that kind of support,” VFW Post 3558 Commander Joe Shelton said.
The free concert featured the Bar J Wranglers, from Jackson Wyoming, who are known for their chuck wagon suppers, along with their famous style of western entertainment. One member of the group, Danny Rogers, hails from Chugwater, Wyoming.
Special guest Colonel Manfred Rietsch, USMC (Ret.), who now resides on a ranch southwest of Wheatland, spoke to the audience about his own military experience. Colonel Rietsch is a retired Marine aviator, who survived 730 combat missions in Vietnam and Desert Shield/Storm. He, along with his sister and mother escaped from communist East Germany in 1947 and immigrated to America with his family.
“I think the entire evening inspired everyone in the building,” said Chuck Brown, who helped organize the event.
State Treasurer Mark Gordon, Brigadier General Greg Porter, State Senator Brian Boner and Platte County Representative Dan Kirkbride, and Mayor Joe Fabian also spoke at the event.
Donations collected at the event came in at over $5,000. The money raised will be split equally between the VFW and American Legion.
Shelton said that for the VFW, the funds raised will be put in an existing account dedicated to assisting local veteran’s projects.
American Legion Post #10 Commander Darrel Curry agreed that the event was a success, and will enable the organization to assist local veterans, as well as help with other veteran-related needs that arise within the community.