Bands unite Saturday for veterans

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Shelly Birkelo
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

JANESVILLE—Musicians will band together for Bands United for Veterans on Saturday night at the VFW.

Money raised will help pay for repairs to the parking lot at VFW Kienow-Hilt Post 1621, 1015 Center Ave., and help local homeless veterans, said Danielle Day, post manager.

Bands will start performing at 6 p.m.

The lineup will feature Janesville musician and vocalist Scott Thomas, who will open the benefit concert and play during interludes.

Performing on the main stage will be Razor's Edge, an AC/DC tribute band; ROXSTAR, an 80s to current rock hits band; and So Called Others, which will perform horror punk, psychobilly, horrorbilly and hardcore punk tunes. Gas Can Alley, a rockabilly band, will close the evening by performing in the main bar.

All of the bands are local and donating their time, Day said.

Proceeds from the $5 cover charge will be donated to the Caravilla Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program.

The benefit is open only to those 21 and older, Day said.

The fundraiser will include raffles and a potluck for $3 a plate.

A new parking lot would cost $80,000, said Jim Weadge, VFW maintenance supervisor.

"We've been patching over the years, but it needs a complete makeover, now. We have grass coming up through it. The biggest problem is the settling," he said.

Because of the lot's pitch, dips and potholes, it can become a sheet of ice in the winter, Day said.

"There's liability issues," said Lamar Deuel Sr., past post commander.

To date, $4,400 has been raised for the parking lot.

If enough money isn't raised, the VFW will start redoing the parking lot one section at a time.  

As VFW membership continues to decline, raising money for such projects becomes more difficult, Weadge said. Membership peaked at 1,620 but has dipped to about 800, he said.

Many members from World War II and the Korean Ware are aging or have died, Weadge said.

Day wants people to understand the VFW is open to the public.

"We're more than a bar," she said.

"We want to bring the community together to help the homeless vets in the area that need it," she said.

Deuel agreed: "Those who have given, need to be given back for what they were willing to sacrifice."

"No vet should be homeless," Day said.

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