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Yellow Ribbon Rendezvous

Images all too powerful and all too common — photos of children and spouses, American flags waving in the air as they say goodbye to their loved ones on deployment. It’s a sight, and reality, for many these days.

But the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon initiative, along with Cragun’s Resort, is sponsoring an event to give back to those families with the Yellow Ribbon Rendezvous, Feb. 24-26.

“We really wanted to do this to give back to those that do so much for us,” said Kathryn Stotka, director of sales at Cragun’s Resort. “And Beyond the Yellow Ribbon does such a wonderful job doing that so we (at Cragun’s) wanted to do our part, too.”

In its first year hosting the event, Stotka said the hope is to connect all the volunteers in the hundreds of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon chapters in Minnesota who work hard to provide military families with the comfort — both emotional and financial — needed during a military deployment.

“BTYR provides a way people in all sorts of communities can do their part for helping the troops and their families all before, during and after their deployment,” Stotka said. “We want to invite everyone in the area to come out and take part and, in a way, thank our troops.”

Weekend events will open with a welcome dinner and program with retired Major Gen. Larry Shellito as the special guest speaker with a silent auction to follow and carry on throughout the weekend. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the weekend’s Yellow Ribbon Rendezvous events will directly benefit the Minnesota Military Family Foundation, helping Minnesota families experiencing financial hardship that occurs when a family member is deployed.

For more information on how to get involved or attend the Feb. 24-26 festivities call 1-800-CRAGUNS (1-800-272-4867).

JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5858 or Follow her on Twitter at