A special Tribute to Veterans will be presented free of charge Monday evening at Golden Corral and will feature speakers, music and food.
Curtis Miller, of Sedalia, a member of Voiture 333, 40 & 8, said the event is in combination with the Healing Box Project and Golden Corral and is the “brain child” of Steve Scorfina, former member of REO Speedwagon. Miller added that musical artists such as Scorfina are coming in to support the event.
Miller will act as host for the event beginning at 5 p.m. President of the Central Missouri Veterans Association Jim Gaertner will present the dedication and the Disabled American Veterans will speak. Miller said he will also recognize the military and Whiteman Air Force Base.
Monday evening will also feature Old Time Country Music Hall of Famer Lawrence Harms, formerly from the Grand Ole Opry, and local musician Mike Michaels, plus others. Also attending the event will be members of The Healing Box Project. Healing Box founder Dave Dunklee teaches veterans at Harry S. Truman Memorial VA Hospital in Columbia how to play guitar. Dunklee and Truman VA Peer Support Specialist Chris Longdon plan to bring 14 men who are in the music program to Monday’s tribute.
Those involved with Healing Box will have the opportunity to play and have their photos taken with professional musicians.
Miller said he grew up along the Mississippi River with Scorfina and Mike McDonald, of the bands Blood Sweat and Tears and Steely Dan. He also grew up working with different charities and seeing the need to help others.
“These guys are helping me do my shows everywhere,” he noted. “They did one in the St. Louis area for homeless vets. That’s what it’s about, is all the people I grew up with, that’s what we knew. We would go out and we would do charities, that’s how I got started.”
Monday night’s tribute will be the first one for Miller in this area. He hopes to get the event started all over the country.
“Steve is the mastermind, and he actually came out and helped do something for one of our veterans here in our community, he worked on their house, not a month ago,” Miller said. “These guys have stepped up and they did two shows so far for homeless veterans and post (traumatic) stress.
“What we’ve started here will be in seven different cities,” he added. “We want this to go nationwide. We want people to see what this community of veterans has actually done. That’s the main bottom line, there is help and we can help each other, and these guys have been stepping forward and been doing that for years now.”
The Tribute for Veterans will be hosted at 5 p.m. Monday at Golden Corral, 2004 W. Broadway Blvd. The event is free for veterans and the active duty military.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or on Twitter @flbemiss.