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Military Appreciation Night Auction Raises Over $19,000 to Benefit Veterans Freedom Center

By Jordan Kuhns, 11/15/16, 3:00PM CST


Seventh-annual Military Appreciation Night a resounding success

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Thanks to the fans, and the sponsors of Military Appreciation Night—Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen and Fazoli’s, the Dubuque County Commission of Veteran’s Affairs, along with media partner 101.1 FM The River—all auction-related donations totaled $19,168.97, all to benefit the Veterans Freedom Center.

The money will be donated at a later date, with details to be determined.

“This was one of the best auctions we have ever had, and we truly thank everyone for earning their halos and helping out our area veterans,” said Katie Kenne, vice president of business operations. “This is the most memorable night of the season, and everyone involved made it another memorable Military Appreciation Night.”

The Veterans Freedom Center is a non-profit organization that meets the needs of active duty, reserve, and honorably discharged veterans in the tri-state area. The center provides a woodworking shop, a crafting area, and and a game room to play cards, pool and shuffleboard to promote camaraderie between area veterans.

The Veterans Freedom Center also hosts Operation We Care, a fund that helps local veterans with additional medical costs, rent or mortgage payments, food, cleaning supplies, or medications. The center also accepts donations of wheelchairs or walkers, which are refurbished and generously donated to disabled veterans at no cost.

“The donations over the last seven years have been such a great help for us to directly assist veterans and their families through Operation We Care,” said co-founder of the Veterans Freedom Center, Jim Wagner. “The proceeds from the game go directly to veterans in need. I cannot thank the Fighting Saints and Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen and Fazoli’s enough for their support.”

 “We make it a point to support our area veterans year after year, because without their service, we simply cannot do what we do here,” Kenne added.

Three camouflage-themed jerseys auctioned off for over $2,000 apiece, including two-time USHL Goaltender of the Week Jaxon Castor ($2,200), team-leading scorer Zach Solow ($2,300), and fan-favorite Dallas Gerads ($2,301).

The Dubuque Fighting Saints defeated the Green Bay Gamblers 3-2, which kept the organization’s undefeated streak on the night intact.