On Thursday, March 21, the Apple Valley Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network celebrated its seventh anniversary along with the 50th anniversary of the city of Apple Valley, as Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland served as guest speaker when 120 active service members, spouses, widows, guests and volunteers were honored during the 33rd Military Appreciation Dinner and Community Celebration.

In introducing Hamann-Roland, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon President Paul Chellsen thanked those who have made the organization a success, and he said the organization looks for support from various sources to help it connect with the community.

“We have been blessed to have a mayor that not only has supported our efforts, but championed them using her stature as mayor to help us in our mission,” he said.

Chellsen said during the six-term mayor’s civic career, her community involvement and life have been committed to this community. Everything she does is for the betterment of Apple Valley and its residents, he said.

Hamman-Roland said during her talk that there was much to celebrate, including the anniversaries for Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network, the city and the 100th anniversary of the American Legion.

She said that she was very proud of the city and the residents who dedicate their time to making it a better place to live. She said the American Legion and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon have forged a fantastic partnership to accomplish much on behalf of veterans and service members.

Hamann-Roland said that Apple Valley has a long history of neighbors helping neighbors, and that’s exactly what Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is all about.

She said she is proud to be mayor of a city that acknowledges and respects the contributions made to the nation, state and community by veterans and service members.

Whether their service ended days ago or decades ago, she said that the citizens of Apple Valley “care for you, respect you and are grateful to you for the sacrifices you have made.”

Hamann-Roland acknowledged the spouses or partners of service members for the special role they play in supporting our great nation. They too have made sacrifices along the way to keep us safe, she said.

As a show of appreciation for veterans, 62 gifts in the form of certificates, gift cards, wine and picnic items with a value of $800 were shared with those present.

Support for these gifts was received from the American Legion Post 1776, Bogart’s Entertainment Center, Von Hanson’s Meats, Paradise Car Wash, Brett McSparron State Farm Insurance, Troy Friedges Coldwell Banker Burnet, Dunn Bros Coffee and additional individual community partners.

Sponsor of the dinner was Orchard Path, a new senior living community that was completed in 2018 off Pilot Knob Road.

Anniversary cake and cupcakes were provided by the Post 1776 Auxiliary and Apple Valley Flowerama provided yellow roses at each dinner table. The roses were offered to guests as they left.

Veteran Gene Jarnagin spoke briefly during the dinner about the Veterans on the Lake Resort in Ely, which has more than 30 cabins. He encouraged veterans and their families to use the resort which has many specially designed features to meet the needs of disabled veterans. For more information contact Jarnagin at 651-454-3402 or visit the resort website at www.veteransonthelakeresort.org.

In closing, Chellsen said with additional members Beyond the Yellow Ribbon can do more to grow the organization and develop programs to meet the needs of veterans, service members and their families in our community. Those who would like to help or have questions, contact Chellsen at paulchellsen@icloud.com.

The 34th Military Appreciation Dinner will be April 18. The doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner served at 5:30 p.m. at the Apple Valley American Legion Post 1776, 14521 Granada Drive. Seating is limited, so call or email reservations at yellowribbon@special.com or 952-923-5014.

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