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District 8 American Legion Riders to host veterans benefit dinner

This Saturday, the District 8 American Legion will host a charity dinner at the Eagles Club in Dickinson to benefit military veterans and their families.

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This year's Camo for a Cause benefit will feature dinner, auctions and live entertainment. (Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press)
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As a way to help benefit those who have served in honor of American freedoms and to honor the families of said veterans, the District 8 American Legion Riders (ALR) will host a charity dinner this weekend with a bake sale, auctions and live entertainment.

The 2021 Camo for a Cause will take place beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Eagles Club, located at 31 First Ave. E. in Dickinson. This is the fourth year that the District 8 ALR, Director Tom Coons said. Coons, who is the event coordinator for the charity event, noted he's excited to put on the event since it was canceled last year due to COVID-19 concerns.

“The District #8 ALR are just members of the community who love to ride motorcycles and see a need to assist veterans whenever we can," Coons said. "We try to help our community and nation to be a better place for everyone to live."

This event has already spurred some attention from the community, Coons remarked.

“We just received about a $2,500 gift donation from the Heart River Wranglers 4-H Club. Dave Shetler of Shetler’s Construction gave them $2,000 to spend on their project. These young kids voted to go on a shopping spree at Runnings and give us the full $2,000 to go to the auction,” Coons said. “Runnings was very generous and they gave a huge discount on all the items, so the 4-H kids ended up with about $2,600 worth of products they donated to us that we will have for the live auction and the silent auction. I mean, that was such a shot in the arm.”

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Coons said he’s grateful for all the support they’ve received from the people of North Dakota and their willingness to help others.

“Without the support of this community, we would be nowhere,” he said. “The great citizens of North Dakota are some of the most generous, caring and giving people in the world.”

Jessica Clifton, who is the Stark County Veterans Service officer for the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, is also a volunteer for the 2021 Camo for a Cause.

“Right now, she (Clifton) has 22 veterans that she feels are in crisis,” Coons said, adding that his organization’s mission is to alleviate their struggles.

The organization recently took these veterans to Walmart and gave each of those 22 veterans a $100 gift card to buy groceries and other necessities, he said. They also provide direct financial assistance to these veterans when their paychecks fall short of their bills, he added.

“Our biggest program is scholarships for veterans, spouses of veterans and their children. Through four years of awarding scholarships, we have helped 35 students with scholarships in the total amount of $30,500 toward their continuing education,” he said.

Mylo Hatzenbuhler, a character played by Bismarck State College adjunct music instructor Clyde Bauman, will provide entertainment for the event at 8:30 p.m. Bauman’s routine is known for its family-friendly, musical comedy.

Coons said they have a smoker and BBQ grill and guns among several items for the auctions, but could still use more donations for the silent and live auctions.

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For those who would like to provide donations for the auctions, mail them to P.O. Box 3029. Coons noted that they will arrange pick-up of any donated auction items. To reach Coons, call 307-262-2955 or email him at twcoons@outlook.com.

Related Topics: EVENTSDICKINSONAMERICAN LEGION
Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in rural southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge.
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