By LIBBY CLUETT
Stoney LaRue and The Arsenals rocked the Palo Pinto County Livestock Association Expo Saturday, entertaining area civilians, military personnel and wounded warriors.
For the concert, dinner and auction, held in conjunction with the second annual Brazos River Wounded Warriors Outdoors hunt, the organization printed 500 tickets at $75 each. BRWWO President Mitch Bradshaw said they sold out of all the tickets they printed.
Although the wounded warriors didn't have as good of a hunt as Bradshaw said they'd hoped, they had the chance to spend some time with LaRue after his 2-hour concert.
Bradshaw said LaRue was generous with his time and stayed at his merchandise table, signing shirts and “pretty much anything” for concert goers.
“Stoney spent 10- to 15-minutes talking to the warriors after everything else,” he said. “They got their picture taken with him.
“All those guys were really great to work with,” Bradshaw added of the band. “Stoney worked out at Anytime Fitness between the sound check and concert. There weren't many people there, but a couple of people noticed him and he took pictures with them, too.”
Seven hunters – one local and a few from Denton County – shot one doe and several hogs Saturday afternoon, according to Bradshaw. One of the event sponsors, Syracuse Custom Meats, participates in a program called Hunters for the Hungry, which lets hunters donate their kill to people who need it, Bradshaw explained. Since the BRWWO take was low this year, he said Syracuse offered to donate 36 pounds of venison per hunter.
In addition to healthy ticket sales and sponsorship, BRWWO had a raffle with numerous door prizes and a live auction, conducted by Dwain Eaton.
A 1911 vintage government-issue 45-caliber pistol topped the auction sales at $2,100, Bradshaw said, while a Texas Rangers' baseball ticket package – versus the Angels for eight seats plus two parking spots – sold for $2,000. In addition, Bradshaw said a Yeti cooler, a $330 value, garnered the most raffle tickets. As of Monday afternoon, he said they didn't have the figures in from the auction items and raffle ticket sales.
“It's definitely a community event,” Bradshaw said of the dinner and concert fundraiser. He added that a group of U.S. Marines came from Fort Worth to help and local kids with the Civil Air Patrol volunteered.
“It was truly an outpouring of support and gratitude for a fine group of soldiers,” he said. “One wounded warrior said he hadn't smiled in a number of years. And he said he wasn't able to wipe the smile off his face and told me, 'You changed my life.' We nicknamed him 'Smiley.'”