Lt. Dan Weekend events

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September 14 to 18 marks the second annual Lt. Dan Weekend, a four-day event that honors severely wounded veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. From Beaufort to Ridgeland, Hilton Head to Fripp Island, Bluffton, Lady’s Island, and Parris Island, neighbors and merchants have banded together earning money for this worthy cause. In March 2011, the Independence Fund, sponsor of the Lt. Dan Weekend, needed $75,000 to make the 2nd annual Lt. Dan Weekend possible. As of September 1, more than $180,000 has been collected in cash and other in-kind donations thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers, the generosity of residents and merchants, and corporate donors. Fundraising aside, the Lt. Dan Weekend is a much needed retreat for wounded veterans and their loved ones.

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, the veterans, their families and caregivers will arrive at Palm Key in Ridgeland, where they will be welcomed with open arms by owners and volunteers who will make their stay a memorable one. That evening, local favorite Shannon Tanner will perform a concert. During the next four days, they will enjoy true Southern hospitality including lodging, meals, live entertainment, and a variety of recuperative programs.

On Thursday, September 15, the veterans will travel to Beaufort for the Conflict Zone Photographic Exhibition. The Conflict Zone is a groundbreaking look at war through the lenses of the world’s leading combat photographers with proceeds to help injured troops and journalists.

After the exhibit at City Hall, veterans will travel to Waterfront Park for the screening of “Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good”, hosted by the producer and director, Jonathan Flora. The 8 p.m. airing of this film is free and open to the general public.

On Friday, Sept. 16, a concert that will rock the Lowcountry takes place at 8:30 p.m. at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. A movie comes to life when Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band take the stage in front of 150 wounded veterans and their loved ones. The concert is open to the general public for a modest ticket fee, and all proceeds benefit our wounded veterans. Gates will open at 5 p.m. Ticket holders are encouraged to bring folding chairs or blankets for seating, but no coolers, strollers, or pets.
Earlier that day, the 2nd Annual Lieutenant Dan Golf Classic will take place on the beautiful Parris Island “Legends” course.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, a Lt. Dan 5K Run will kick off at 8:45 a.m. Also on Saturday, a Lt. Dan Bike Ride will take place at the Marine Corps Air Station from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the self-contained 11-mile loop within MCAS.
Also on Saturday, Sept. 17, locals, wounded veterans and families and Beaufort visitors will line the streets in the historic district for Beaufort’s 300th anniversary parade. Actor Gary Sinise will serve as grand marshal and will share his ride through downtown Beaufort with two Medal of Honor recipients, Jay Vargas and Drew Dix.

Tickets are now on sale at the following Beaufrot lactions:
• Fordham Market, 701 Bay Street, Beaufort
• Cravings on Bay, 928 Bay Street, Beaufort
• Chick-fil-A, 2405 Boundary Street, Beaufort
• Berry Island Café, 1 Merchants Lane, Suite 102, Lady’s Island,
• Tickets are $25 each for all funds going to support severely wounded heroes for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Fripp Island joins the groundswell of support for those who bear our response to the 9-11 terrorists’ attacks on the United States of America. In support of the Lieutenant Dan Weekend and the Independence Fund, a group of residents called the Fripp Island Independence Fund will host several fundraising activities for the benefit of our severely wounded veterans from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• On Saturday, September 10, a Fripp Island Tennis Tournament will be held at the Fripp Island Racquet Club. Round Robin matches will take place from 9 to 11 a.m.  An Exhibition Match will occur at 11 a.m. The $10 court fees will be donated to the Independence Fund for our severely wounded veterans. Food and beverages will be available courtesy of the sponsors. For details, contact Charles Davis at (843) 838-1108 or cnd@aol.com.

• On Sunday, September 11, the Fripp Island Independence Fund group will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States of America. The memorial gathering will honor the victims of 9/11 and proceeds will benefit the severely wounded veterans who have shouldered our response to those attacks. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., a $30 donation entitles guests to a wonderful assortment of appetizers and desserts, live music, speakers from the 82nd Airborne, a silent auction, and lively bidding auction — both fundraising events for our wounded troops. The event takes place in the Ocean View Lounge in the Fripp Island Beach Club. Cash bar will also be available. Fripp Island residents and non-residents are cordially invited to participate. For details, contact Charlie Richman at (843) 838-9889 or richman@wfu.edu.

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