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Rock and Rally for the troops coming Aug. 1

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Tacomans looking to find entertainment for a good cause can check out the fifth annual Rock and Rally for the Troops, presented by Lyon Pride Music at the Cheney Stadium Parking lot on Aug. 1 from 6-10 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m.

The event will feature live bands, a motorcycle ride and a silent auction to raise funds for Operation Ward 57, a non-profit organization serving veterans across the country.

The silent auction will include things like autographed memorabilia and motorcycle gear, and will be taking place from 5-7 p.m. This is a fantastic way to get some unique swag while supporting an important cause.

The rally will feature its annual motorcycle ride, sponsored by the Brothers In Arms Motorcycle Club, a group of riders that bond over being veterans. The ride is self led, meaning you can go at your own pace and the group won’t be cramped up riding down the road. The journey will last for 84 miles and will hit locales like the Milton Tavern and Captain Jack’s in Sumner. 

Registration for the ride will take place at Rock the Dock Pub and Grill, 535 Dock St, at 11 a.m. on Aug. 1. The suggested donation is $20 per bike and $10 per additional rider. This will also cover admission into the concert.

The ride will finish just in time for the music, headlined by Eve to Adam. Other bands that will be performing include Klover Jane, Van Eps and JP Hennessy.

“The biker community has always been a big supporter, and so have bands, and we thought let’s put the two together and let’s have a fun day and raise some money and help educate some folks that may not know about veterans' issues,” said Britteny Hamilton, executive director of Operation Ward 57.

Not only will it be a great time but it’s also a strong show of support for both the military and Ward 57.

“I think there’s kind of two reasons (to attend) – an overall general show of support for our military and veterans and a great way to be there and show support, but also to be there and raise support for ward 57,” Hamilton said.

Operation Ward 57‘s mission statement is to support wounded, injured and ill service members, veterans, their caregivers and those that aid in their recovery by providing assistance and outreach in their recovery, comfort and morale, and through advocacy, education and promotion of their circumstances. Ward 57 began in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland and has since spread nationwide. Rock and Rally for the Troops is one of the few fundraisers the non-profit puts on every year.

This is the fifth year the rally will be taking place. The idea came to Hamilton after support from local Seattle band Fall From Grace inspired her to use music as a fundraiser. 

“I thought ‘I’m a big music fan and I know a lot of veterans that use music for healing, so let’s do some kind of concert,’” Hamilton said.

The guest speaker this year will be Mary Dague, a U.S. Army Veteran and member of the Army’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team. On Nov. 4, 2007 she lost both of her arms after getting a call for an IED that the Iraqi army had picked up. But despite her injuries Dague has pushed on serving as a mentor to other wounded warriors and civilians alike. When asked about the experience you will hear how grateful she is to be able to share her story and you will quickly learn of her wacky sense of humor, her compassion, and her new sense of purpose.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to hear about her experience,” Hamilton said. 

General admission tickets are $20, or purchase a family package, four tickets for the price of three. VIP options are also available. For more information about Operation Ward 57, visit http://www.operationward57.org, and for more information on Rock and Rally for the Troops, visit http://www.rockandrallyforthetroops.com.

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