Community Band salute, bingo to kick off Red, White, Blue Days

Logan Raschke, Editor-in-Chief

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As part of the Red, White and Blue Days celebration, people can attend the Community Band patriotic salute and Harold Hackett Memorial Bingo this week to begin the city’s Independence Day festivities.

Ginger Stanfield, director of the Community Band, said the band will perform a number of patriotic songs to honor veterans and their families on Thursday. She said during the performance, veterans are asked to stand to be recognized for their service.

The band is comprised entirely of volunteers from east central Illinois, featuring musicians who are 12 to 86 years old, Stanfield said.

The free performance will take place at Kiwanis Park at 7:30 p.m., weather permitting. If it rains, the performance will take place at the Charleston High School Baker Gym at 7:30 p.m.

Betty Coffrin, an organizer for the Red, White and Blue days, said the memorial bingo is a fundraising event; the money all goes toward funding the Red, White and Blue Days.

Every concert performance during the Red, White and Blue Days is free for everyone to attend, which makes fundraising imperative to helping with the Independence Day festivities, Coffrin said. Bingo, an idea courtesy of Hackett, accumulates a lot of money for the Red, White and Blue Days every year, she said.

The Harold Hackett Memorial Bingo will take place from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Charleston VFW Banquet Room on June 30, Coffrin said.

It will cost $0.25 per hard card to play bingo; prizes, including gift cards to local businesses and restaurants, and snacks will be available, Coffrin said.

Stanfield said the Community Band performance and bingo are great activities to get the community excited and prepared for the rest of the events during the Red, White and Blue Days.

Attending is also a good way to show support for veterans, she said.

“It gets you in the spirit for the 4th and the patriotism, plus you’re honoring the veterans, which I don’t think we can ever honor our veterans and their families enough for the sacrifices they have given for all of us,” Stanfield said.

The Fourth of July Committee also accepts direct monetary donations to help fund the Independence Day events in Charleston, Coffrin said. People who would like to donate can send their donations via mail to the City Hall, located at 510 Jackson Ave., or they can contact Coffrin at 232-1485 to make arrangements, she said.

The VFW Post is located at 1821 20th St.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].