Gallantly Forward Gala - 2019


For Immediate Release: Sunday, September 22, 2019

CONTACT: Jerry W. Derr / 605.545.2505 /

  ‘Gallantly Forward Gala’

Rapid City, SD—The Sergeant Colton Levi Derr Foundation (SCLDF) announces their 6th annual ‘Gallantly Forward Gala’ in support of  Veterans.  The event will be held on Saturday,October 19, 2019 at The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center—LaCroix Hall, Rapid City, SD.  Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and event ceremonies kick-off at 5:45 p.m.  Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance.  Business evening attire is recommended, but not required.

The gala event will feature a social hour, dinner, guest speakers, silent/live auction, and live music. The event’s main speaker is: Sergeant Major Adin Salkanovic, United States Army. The Master of Ceremonies (MC) will be Dr. Julie Ertz, and opening ceremonies covered with engaging music by Orion Potter.

If unable to attend the event, the SCLDF asks that you consider either sponsoring a veteran in your stead or donating an item for the silent/live auction.  All donations are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.  

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.  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.