Annual BTYR banquet set for this Saturday

The NYA Beyond the Yellow Ribbon banquet will be this Saturday, May 13. (Adam Gruenewald/The Times)

By Adam Gruenewald
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Community efforts to recognize and help veterans and families will be highlighted at the eighth annual Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BTYR) Honor Banquet on Saturday, May 13, at the Willkommen Memorial Park Pavilion in Norwood Young America.
This year’s banquet will be held to honor our Vietnam Veterans, all local service members and veterans and is again open to the entire community.
Proceeds from the event with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon to further outreach to service members and veterans and educate the community.
The national Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization works to honor, serve and support veterans, military service members and their families. NYA was officially designated a BTYR community in December 2013, the 200th city in Minnesota to receive the honor.
The program speaker will be Heidi Gould, the curator of education and exhibits at the Carver County Historical Society.
Speaking in advance of the banquet, Gould said her presentation will highlight Vietnam Era veterans and is based on her “Extraordinary Sacrifices” presentation she has done based on the veterans gallery at the museum.
“It will be a basic presentation that covers the facts of the war and then I’ll highlight stories of individual local veterans,” said Gould.
The veterans gallery which covers an entire room in the historical society is certainly worth a visit, she said.
“It covers every conflict we’ve been in since we’ve been a county,” she said. “So it starts with the Civil War and goes all the way up to the war on terror.”
The Carver County Historical Society is located at 555 West First Street in Waconia. For more information, call 442-4234.
The program and dinner will start at 6 p.m. This year’s banquet will be held to honor our Vietnam Veterans, all local service members and veterans and is again open to the entire community.
Previous banquet speakers include Minnesota Representative Jim Nash (2016), Vietnam Veteran James Bury (2015), WWII Veteran and WASP Ms. Betty Strohfus (2014),  Major General (Ret) Larry Shellito (2013), MG(R) Rick Erlandson (2012), World War II veterans Mel Dahlberg and Bob Erikson (2011), and local World War II veterans Clarence Feltman, Elvin Hohman, and Joachim “Yogi” Pusch (2010).
Prior to the event, the Willkommen Heritage & Preservation Society of NYA will be opening from 4 to 6 p.m. for everyone to view their exhibits, including one featuring military memorabilia.
NYA Mayor Carol Lagergren has proclaimed May as Yellow Ribbon Month and May 13 as Yellow Ribbon Day.
Tickets for the banquet are on sale at Citizens State Bank and KleinBank in NYA. Tickets are limited.
To get involved in the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee, people can reach out to members or Crystal Dammann and also attend meetings on the second Tuesdays of the month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
For questions, visit http://nyabeyondtheyellowribbon.weebly.com/,www.facebook.com/NYABeyondtheYellowRibbon or email [email protected]

Follow Adam Gruenewald on Twitter @adamgruenewald.