Sergeant Colton Levi Derr Foundation “Gallantly Forward Gala’

For Immediate Release: Sunday, 18 October 2015  
CONTACT: Jerry W. Derr  / 605-545-2505

We invite you to our annual gala in support of veterans on Saturday, 24 October 2015.  Help us raise awareness about the issues facing our warriors: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), veteran suicide, homelessness, multiple deployments and the effect they have on our veterans and their families.  Veterans from the Black Hills area will be in attendance and your presence and community support will be met with much respect.  If you can’t attend our event, we ask that you consider sponsoring a veteran in your stead.

The gala fundraiser will be held at The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center - LaCroix Hall, Rapid City, SD. Doors will 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.  The evening will feature a social hour, dinner, a silent/live auction and music from The Potter Family.  A business evening attire is recommended but not required. 

Dr. Julie Ertz will MC the evening and active duty U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Stephen Daniel is the night’s main speaker. SSG Daniel is currently stationed at Fort Bragg with 5th Battalion/ Special Warfare Training Group in language school as a part of entry training for psychological operations.  Married with three sons; SSG Daniel and his wife Crystal have experienced multiple deployments since his Army enlistment in 2006. 

Why do we fight to stop the 22+ veterans who succumb to suicide every day? Sergeant Colton Levi Derr suffered with Post PTSD following his combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In support of American’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. Colton succumbed to suicide on April 28, 2012 following his Afghanistan mission.  

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.  Colton’s father, Jerry Derr states, “Deployments find mission, duty and camaraderie.  Coming home does not always mean peace, but often reveals confusion, turmoil, anger, depression and isolation.”

We honor Colton by assisting his fellow veterans and their families and respectfully ask that you become involved in this battle.

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