Performance honors those who serveSaturday’s performance of “Let Freedom Ring, Welcome to America,” which starts at 7 p.m. in the Lake Nebagamon Auditorium, is more than an evening’s entertainment.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Saturday’s performance of “Let Freedom Ring, Welcome to America,” which starts at 7 p.m. in the Lake Nebagamon Auditorium, is more than an evening’s entertainment. Proceeds from the original play will provide seed money for an Armed Services Tribute in the village.
“Be ready for a good time for sure,” said Darrell Kyle, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, who is in the show. “Also remember that it’s a good time with a purpose.”
Last fall, a nonprofit committee formed to establish an Armed Services Tribute honoring local men and women who have served in the United States Armed Services.
“It’s important to say thank you,” said committee chairman Rick Baga. Those who have served their country in the past and those serving today should know “there are a lot of people who know and are thankful for that.”
The Village Board of Trustees has given permission for the tribute to be built behind the auditorium. It will be as inclusive as possible, Baga said, with anyone welcome to add the name of a loved one who has served.
“That, I think, is one of the sweetest things about it,” said Kyle, a chaplain with the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing. It’s not just meant to honor people from the village, but all those who have a connection to it.
The decision to build a tribute has touched a chord with people in Lake Nebagamon, Baga said, from retired people to teens; from veterans to those who haven’t served.
“It’s been a healthy experience and healthy for the community because it’s brought people together,” he said. “It really has.” The tribute is on a fast track because so many people with expertise in the needed areas have stepped forward to make it happen. Depending on funding, Baga said, it could be finished by spring of 2013.
The fact that a committee has formed and is working to make an armed services tribute a reality says a lot about Lake Nebagamon, Kyle said.
“It’s just another instance of neighbors looking out for neighbors,” he said.
Funds from Saturday’s play, written by Kay Coletta, provide start-up money for preliminary design and construction work.
The play tells the story of a young immigrant from Sweden and his quest for American citizenship. He attends a concert of patriotic music that follows U.S. military history from the Revolutionary War to the present. Cast members range from seniors in their 80s to teens in high school. Many of the experienced performers in this production, who have been appearing in Lake Nebagamon Players’ productions since 1976, return to the stage for this show. Included in the cast are Dale Botten, Jann Brill, Ed and Doris Charbonneau, Judi Liebaert and Karen Lawler. Others, like Village President Travis Hanson and Constable Ed Anderson, are newcomers. A special honor guard will open the show to the tune of a bagpipe.
Past village productions have been performed to standing-room-only crowds, according to Coletta. Tickets are $10 each and will be available in advance at the Village Office or at the door the night of the show.
In conjunction with the tribute, Coletta, who has written two histories of Lake Nebagamon, is now collecting photographs and information about local men and women who served in the armed forces.
“I hope anyone with ties to Lake Nebagamon who served or has a relative who served will contact me so I can include their memories in a booklet I am working on as part of the Tribute,” she said.
Information and pictures can be sent to Swan Dawson at the village office, 11596 E. Waterfront Drive, Lake Nebagamon, WI 54849. Checks made out to the Lake Nebagamon Armed Services Tribute Committee can also be sent to that address.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call Dawson at (715) 374-3171.