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Bingo to benefit veterans group

English students at Alexandria Area High School are holding their first Bingo event in support of U.S. war veterans.

The event, called Bingo with the Brave, is coordinated by students from the English department and sponsored by the local chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars. It will take place at the Alexandria VFW, 1102 3rd Ave. E., on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 6-8 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

Guests will be greeted with 14 rounds of bingo and a silent auction with prizes donated by local businesses. All donations will be sent to The Minnesota Resilience Program that supports war veterans.

Approximately 60 students from Kallie Grote's and Carrie Ludwig's ninth-grade English classes will be volunteering at the event.

Grote said the idea of holding the event came from reading a book by Ryan Smithson, "Ghosts of War," which tells about his time serving in Iraq after the 9/11 attacks.

"I really enjoyed teaching this unit because I have family members who served in the military," Grote said.

Freshmen students Maggie Anderson and Lilly Thul said the idea is to help veterans.

"We decided to do this event from stories we've read involving soldiers that suffered from PTSD," Anderson said.

"I feel really good doing this for our community," Thul said. "Because in a way, this is how we can give back to our veterans that have done a lot for us."

Anderson is looking forward to meeting veterans at the event.

"What I've learned is we need to appreciate our veterans as much as we should," Anderson said, "especially for all the work and sacrifice they've done for us."

Abel Mehari

Abel Mehari is a news reporter for the Echo Press. A graduate from the University of Minnesota, he represented the Special Olympics United States basketball team for the 2015 World Games. In 2017 he earned an ESPY award for his contributions to Special Olympics MN and for expressing his life story through basketball.

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