A concert held Jan. 27 at Miller’s Home Furnishings in Merrill raised over $1,000 for a planned veterans center.
Miller’s Home Furnishings, along with the radio station Rock 94.7, Ballyhoos, Church Mutual Insurance and the Merrill Area Housing Authority, sponsored an intimate concert by the band, Wayland, Only 100 seats were available and tickets were offered free to veterans before going on sale to the general public.
When Wayland approached the radio station about doing a show in central Wisconsin, Rock 94.7 brand manager Nikki Montgomery had the idea to make it a benefit. She and colleague Terry Stevens were familiar with the ongoing fundraising for the Northwoods Veterans Post, as Stevens did a pushup challenge on the site last fall. Veterans causes are “near and dear to our hearts,” Stevens said.
The station had worked with Miller’s owner Wally Smith to do a much smaller show at the store in the past. Smith agreed to host the Wayland concert and provided the seating for concert-goers.
With the involvement of Ballyhoos nextdoor, the event developed into a veterans appreciation party. Tickets sold out in two days.
The event received additional support from Merrill’s veterans organizations, VFW Post 1638 and American Legion Post 46.
The Northwoods Veterans Post will be constructed on a piece of land donated by Church Mutual on Johnson Street in Merrill. The project is estimated to cost $2.5 million.
“We have a long ways to go, but all these fundraisers help,” said Paul Russell, coordinator of the capital campaign.
The effort’s ultimate goal is to build a 14,376-square-foot building for area veterans groups to call home. The new post will serve VFW Post 1638 and its Auxillary, American Legion Post 46, AmVets Post 2000, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Post 29, Boy Scout Troop 503, Cub Scout Pack 503 and Girl Scout Troops 7074 and 7060. The new Northwoods Veterans Post will house a medical room, weight room, an office for each of the eight local service organizations, four meeting rooms, a computer lab, kitchen, storage building, volleyball courts as well as access to hiking, biking, snowmobile and ATV trails.