Event: Social / Dinner / Silent & Live Auction / Guest Speakers / Live Music

MC - Dr. Julie Ertz

Subject: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Veteran Suicide 

Date: Saturday - 19 October 2019

Time: Doors open at 5PM

Location: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center / LACROIX Hall -  Rapid City, SD 57701

Tickets: $35            

Dear Patriots: 

We invite you to our 6th annual ‘Gallantly Forward Gala’ in support of Veterans and their families on Saturday, 19 October 2019. Help us raise awareness about the issues facing our warriors: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), suicide, homelessness, and the effects they have on our veterans who battle these demons. Veterans from the Black Hills area will be in attendance and your presence and community support will be met with much respect.  

The gala fundraiser will be held at The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center - LaCroix Hall, Rapid City, SD.  Doors open at 5:00 p.m. with event ceremonies kicking off at 5:45 p.m.  Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance.  Business attire is recommended, but not required.

The gala event which will feature a social hour, dinner, speakers, silent/live auction and live music.  The Master of Ceremonies (MC) will be Dr. Julie Ertz. 

Founded in 2012, SCLDF is steadfast in our three-fold mission: Veteran Advocacy, Assistance, and Public Awareness of the battles our heroes face when they come home.   If you can’t attend the event, we ask that you consider sponsoring a veteran in your stead or donate an item for the silent/live auction.  All donations are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.  All of our staff volunteer their time; we have no employees.  The SCLDF is proud to provide our veterans with advocacy, financial support and targeted resources to problem-solve their individual requests. 

Why do we advocate for our veterans?  The Middle Eastern wars have mandated multiple deployments  of our heroes.  Over 2.7 million Americans have served on 5.4 million military deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. While deployed, our warriors develop the bonds of brotherhood, duty and purpose.  However, coming home does not always mean peace; but often reveals confusion, turmoil, anger, depression and isolation.  An estimated 20+ veterans and 1 active duty soldier succumb to suicide every day.  The U.S. suicide rate is now 33% higher than it was in 1999 and the suicide rate for veterans is 50% greater than their civilian counterparts.  We must do more to combat these staggering numbers. 

Sergeant Colton Levi Derr suffered with PTSD following his combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In support of America’s War on Terror during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring freedom, SGT Derr, U.S. Army 1st Calvary Division completed over 500 combat missions.  Our hero succumbed to suicide on 28 APR 12 following his Afghanistan mission. 

We honor Colton by assisting his fellow veterans and their families and respectfully ask that you become involved in this battle.  It’s imperative that the public and our veterans' families understand that coming home does not mean the war has ended; it is our responsibility as a community to support our warriors and your assistance is greatly appreciated. 

What can you do to help?  Attend our gala and be a Battle Buddy who can reach out to a soul who needs help in the fight against the demons of war.  It takes strength to reach out for help - be STRONG!

Very respectfully, 

Haley Austin Derr, President 

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Please contact us to donate auction items or purchase tickets: 

Donation Form

  • Jerry W. Derr @ 605.545.2505 /

  • Haley A. Derr @ 605.209.2308 /

  • Josephine M. Dirksen @ 605.391.6983 /

  • Wyatt W. Derr @ 605.209.6067 /

  • Theresa Derr @ 605.391.8733

  • Karen Henman @ 303.775.4980