DIXON – This story never gets old.
Saturday, Bombdigity Bar & Grill at 628 Palmyra Road, just outside Dixon, will host a fall festival in its parking lot from noon to 11 p.m., featuring four bands and a bags tournament.
Proceeds from the bags tournament, a long toss competition and a 50/50 raffle will go to veteran Daniel Justice of Sterling, his wife Aaron, and their two children, Maeson, 2, and Zelda, 1.
Once again, the community is reaching out to help someone who served our country.
The 32-year-old Justice is a wounded warrior. He suffered a debilitating back injury while serving in Iraq.
Week after week during his first deployment there in 2005, he had to sit for at least 2 hours a day in a static position on a Humvee, and sleep with his gear on.
Sitting in that position over time took its toll on him, and other fellow veterans, leading Daniel to take a medical retirement from the service Aug. 27.
He's had back surgery and a hip surgery is next.
Unfortunately, his retirement checks haven't kicked in yet and Daniel has not found a job with his injury, so his family has been without the much-needed income, which has caused them to move.
There is a ray of sunshine, however.
Thanks to community efforts by Dixon VFW and the veterans affairs office, specifically Dixon resident Charlie Thomas and his daughter, the Justice family is living in a new home.
The hope is that the proceeds from Saturday's fundraiser at Bombdigity will get them back on their feet by the time the retirement checks start coming.
Daniel is studying computer engineering at DeVry Institute to get himself on a different career path.
The Justice family said they have been overwhelmed with the gratitude from the community and are looking forward to Saturday's party.
"We can't believe how generous everyone has been, and how quickly this all came together," Aaron said. "We're so thankful."
The musical lineup is: Drew Dawson and Olivia Dvorak from noon to 2 p.m., Route 88 from 3 to 5 p.m., Burn N' Bush from 6 to 8 p.m. and Gina Venier and the Gentlemen from 9 to 11 p.m. The entertainment is free.
The restaurant will be closed, but food and drinks will be sold outside.
It costs $20 to play in the social bags tournament and $40 for the competitive tournament, with all of the proceeds going to help the Justice family and the Wounded Warrior Project, said Emily Hermes at Bombdigity. Signup is at 11:30 a.m. and the bags start flying at 1 p.m.
"We wanted to do something to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall," Hermes told me Wednesday. "We wanted it to be a fundraiser too, and we are committed to helping our service and military personnel any way we can."
For more information, call Bombdigity at 815-288-6300 or Hermes at 815-631-2357.
Derek Barichello will be out of the office next week, so his next “office hours” will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. today at Books on First, 202 W. First St. Feel free to stop by and ask questions, suggest story ideas, or just chat.
He also can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-798-4085, ext. 526.