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Veterans, first responders benefit returns Saturday

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Special to the Bulletin

The fifth annual Ride & Rise Above benefit that raises funds to help veterans and first responders pay for treatment at Warriors Heart in Bandera will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, at a new location this year – the Ridin’ the River Cowboy Fellowship.

The governor’s order closing bars in the battle against COVID-19 kept the benefit from returning to Jake’s at Polly Peak again, and officials at the cowboy fellowship stepped in to offer their help with a venue that gives the event a little more space to operate, said Scott Kaufmann, who founded the benefit and will offer it for a fifth time Saturday.

The fellowship is at 5767 Highway 173 North outside of Bandera.

The benefit will start with registration for a motorcycle rally through the Hill Country at 8:30 a.m. – which costs $20 per rider – and will include a four-hour ride that starts at 9:30 a.m., a barbecue plate lunch costing $10 apiece at noon, music by Rebel Roxie from noon to 2 p.m., a silent auction and a raffle that Kaufmann and his friends will call beginning about 2 p.m.

Kaufmann said he will make a brief presentation to start the raffle that will include the introduction of first responders, veterans and military personnel who have gotten financial help from the benefit in years past.

He said he has been overwhelmed by the number of donations businesses and organizations have made for the raffle and silent auction, and he thanked the community for supporting the initiative again.

One of the items that should draw a lot of attention, he said, is a laser-engraved plaque made by fourEight Plaques and Customs LLC in Bandera that pays tribute to firefighters who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The benefit has a patriotic theme this year, so plenty of patriotic items will also be available in the auction and raffle, Kaufmann said.

Held in remembrance of Kaufmann’s late brother, the event has been held every year to see that veterans, active military personnel and first responders have enough funds to be treated at Warriors Heart.

It is a center that focuses on helping veterans, military personnel and first responders deal with addiction and chemical dependency issues along with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Kaufmann can be reached at 847-942-7543 for more information.