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World War II review benefits Honor Flight

Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011 1:15 p.m. CDT

STERLING – Jazz, dancing, and patriotic presentations will be showcased Friday and Saturday in two performances that will help send World War II, Korean, and Vietnam veterans to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C.

Honor Flight Committee of Whiteside County, a chapter of Quad Cities Honor Flight, are sponsoring a World War II musical review Friday at the Wild Rose Casino, 777 Wild Rose Drive, Clinton, Iowa, and again Saturday at Centennial Auditorium, Sterling High School, 1608 Fourth Ave.

Both shows will be at 7 p.m., and will feature WWII-era music.

Both will feature local talents the Rock River Jazz Band, the Fifth Street Cloggers, Travis Hosette, Victoria McGuire, Z and She’s Dance Company, Mark Kapusinski, and Andrews Sisters soundalikes Margaret Blakeslee, Maria Ortiz, and Irene Wimbley.

Edwin Davis will take the audience on a “walk” through Carnegie Hall as he presents tunes made famous by some of the most famous vocalists of the day: Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, and Vaughn Monroe.

Davis returns at the end of the program to concentrate on patriotism.

Local Honor Flight organizer Bob VanDeVelde, of Sterling, will emcee. In addition to introducing the performers, he will remind the audience of the history and purpose of the Honor Flights.

An unusual part of this program will be a dialogue between VanDeVelde and Harriet and Burdette Burch, WWII veterans whose paths probably would never have crossed had it not been for the war.

Because of where they were sent in their military careers, they did meet, did fall in love, did ache as their duties kept them separated, did marry, and did live happily ever after.

There also will be a parade of flags featuring WWII veterans escorted by National Guardsmen, and an introduction to the military’s Angel Flight program.

Tickets are $15 at the casino box office, 800-457-9975, at Centennial Auditorium, 815-622-3248, and at the door.

Call VanDeVelde, 815-535-0226, for more information about the show or the Honor Flight program, which is expanding its reach beyond WWII to include Vietnam and Korean War vets.

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