First Strawberry Festival gives back to veterans

2 weeks 2 days 48 minutes ago June 10, 2017 Jun 10, 2017 Saturday, June 10 2017 Saturday, June 10, 2017 6:10:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jasmyn Willis, KOMU 8 Reporter

FULTON - The first Strawberry Festival was held at the Serenity Valley Winery in Fulton Saturday, featuring live music and food trucks. 

While there was no cost to attend the event, there was a suggested five dollar entrance donation, with the proceeds going to the Central Missouri Honor Flight.

The organization helps veterans visit memorials in Washington D.C. According to their website, they have helped more than 2,800 veterans travel to D.C.

Event coordinator Cherie Rutter said selecting an organization was simple.

"I have multiple veterans in my family," Rutter said. "So it was just an obvious choice for me to pick something that benefits veterans."

Rutter said she has several family members who have severed in the U.S. military. Rutter's grandfather, father, brother, and son all served in the armed forces.

"We want to try and make this a successful event," Rutter said. "All I can say is come out and support Honor Flight and thank the veterans for their service."

Regina Ruppert said they are expecting a large turn out. More than 300 people confirmed attendance on the Facebook event. Another 3,000 expressed interest.

"I'm told Honor Flight events are very, very well attended," Ruppert said. "I've been receiving calls all morning asking for more details."

Ruppert said her father served in the Navy.

"My dad has always wanted to do an honor flight," Ruppert said. "And it just has never worked out. And now he's going be ninety and he feels like he's too old to go. So I'd like as many now to go as we possible."

One former Marine, Charlie Houchins, said it's great to see the winery give back to veterans.

"It's really good to see people out supporting the veterans," Houchins said. "I'm really appreciative. I'd just like to thank all the vets and the community for doing this for us."

The festival also has door prizes and silent auctions. The festival lasted all day Saturday.

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