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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Local residents team up to help wounded warrior

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  • Woodmen of the World is partnering up with a couple from Braddyville, Iowa, to help a local wounded soldier.
    The retired couple, Marcia and Gary Almquist, will be selling food and items at the Woodmen of the World Nebraska/Iowa Youth Camp during the AppleJack Festival in an effort to raise money for a Nebraska City wounded soldier.
    "We all know that it is here in small towns where patriotism and community pride is strongest, and where neighbors still help neighbors. By partnering with Marcia and her husband we are showing that not only is Nebraska City 'Red to the Core,' but we are red, white and blue to the core," said Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society field representative Evelyn Alonso.
    "We believe that it takes a village to raise a village and it starts with making connections," Alonso added.
    Last year, Alonso offered the campgrounds as another venue for people to sell items or raise money. It was successful.  
    "We had an overwhelming amount of success. We hope to make this an annual thing, to make this a part of the AppleJack Festival," Alonso said. "I want to extend a very big thank you to vendors last year. Without them I'm not sure if we'd be doing this again this year or not. They were phenomenal."
    On Apple Jack Saturday, Sept. 20, the campground will be the center of the 2nd Annual Family Fun Day. The Almquists will be selling hamburgers, nachos, bratwursts, soft drinks, T-shirts and hats from their concession trailer. Marcia Almquist said a percentage of the gross income will go to a local wounded soldier. If a wounded soldier can't be found, then the funds will go to the family of local soldier whom has died to be used toward a memorial, scholarship or for whatever the family needs.
    "We want the money raised in the community to stay in the community," she said.
    On the Fourth of July, the Almquists presented a check to a wounded soldier in New Market, Iowa. The soldier's tank was hit by a land mine and he was nearly killed. However, he has beaten the odds against him and is using that money to assist with starting a hunting area for other soldiers.
    "We were shocked that he was going to pay it forward again," Marcia Almquist said.
    Over the weekend, the Almquists were raising money for a local veteran at the Carson Community Rodeo in Carson, Iowa.
    The Almquists are passionate about helping wounded soldiers and their families because many members of their family have served in the military.
    Alonso said what the Almquists are doing goes hand-in-hand with the Woodmen of the World organization.
    She said the Nebraska City Chapter 29 has hosted patriotic presentations; sponsored Veterans Day functions; given American flags to non-profit organizations, city and federal buildings and churches; and donated three flag poles to the Nebraska City Jaycees baseball field at Steinhart Park this summer.
    Page 2 of 2 - "Patriotism and community is what Woodmen of the World is all about and it is an honor to be able to partner with another great organization to benefit our community," she said.
    She is honored to have the Almquists at the campground, and wants to promote the city more during it's annual celebration.
    "The number one goal right now is to get the word out to veterans to support (the Almquists') booth on AppleJack Saturday," she said. "Veterans from all walks of life can come out and support Marcia.
    "And get the word out about Nebraska City. It's got a lot to offer," she added. "We try to help provide exposure to the communities that we serve and we just feel so privileged to be out here and do what we do."
    Marcia Almquist is looking forward to helping a wounded soldier during the AppleJack Festival.
    "We've got to help our young men and women who defend our country," she said. "We are so grateful to Woodmen … to offer us this spot to raise the money."    
    To reserve a spot at the campground during the AppleJack Festival, located across the street from John Brown's Cave at 2005 4th Corso, email Alonso at EAlonso@woodmen.org.

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