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The Mark Chestnut Band plays at the 2019 Benefit the Vets Concert.

The third annual Benefit the Vets concert will be held in Worthington on Sunday, Sept. 19. Begun in 2018, the concert is a fundraiser for veterans and has previously featured famed country talents such as the Bellamy Brothers and Mark Chestnut. While the concert was canceled last year due to COVID-19 and the sudden passing of its planned performer Joe Diffie, 2021 is seeing a return of the event with music performed by Tracy Byrd with an opening by Mike and the Moonpies.

Darlene Frasher is the chief organizer of Benefit the Vets and explained how she founded it along with her family.

“My son and husband got together one day. My son loves music and has been going to concerts for years, and my husband also loves music, he was in a band years ago, and he loves the veterans. He always respected them and wanted to do stuff with them. We got together and this was the combination of both of their thoughts. Worthington is where we’re from. My husband, who passed away in August, was a good part of the Veteran’s Square in Worthington which he helped get going after his brother was killed in Vietnam in 1970.”

The event will be held in Worthington Memorial Hall with music beginning at 4 p.m. with Mike and the Moonpies, followed by Tracy Byrd at 6 p.m. The concert will be precluded by several ceremonies honoring veterans.

“The Sons of the American Legion will prepare food at the event and that money will also go to the veterans,” said Frasher. “We also have a raffle of items people donated. People can buy tickets for that and names will be drawn that day. At 3 p.m. there will be a presentation of Quilts of Valor, 3:20 will see a 21-gun salute by the American Legion of Dyersville, and at 3:45 we’ll have the color guard marching to the hall right before the music starts with Tracy Byrd’s fiddler playing the national anthem.”

Frasher said every bit of money made by the event goes to help veterans in multiple ways. While some of the proceeds go to individual veterans in need of aid, other funds are given to organizations that directly aid or are related to veterans in some form.

“The money goes directly to specific veterans in need of financial support. We’ve also given to Retrieving Freedom who raises and trains therapy dogs for PTSD. We’ve also made a donation to the Dubuque Honor Flight and the Dubuque County American Legion baseball team. We’re always looking for other possibilities, any ideas from anyone pertaining to veterans.”

Frasher would like to thank the many volunteers who make this event possible.

Tickets are for sale at the Palace Saloon in Dyersville, The Last Straw in Worthington and Worthington City Hall. They can also be purchased online at Benefit the Vets Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/ Benefit-The-Vets- 147683092543797. Tickets should be purchased ahead of the concert date.