Digital Exclusive: Sioux City Musketeers raise nearly $55K for Midwest Honor Flight

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A local hockey team is once again showing their support for the Siouxland military community through jerseys.

On Saturday, the Sioux City Musketeers raised $54,900 from their Military Appreciation Night’s jersey auction for Midwest Honor Flight.

“[It’s] quite phenomenal to sponsor 72 veterans in one night at an auction. We’re more than thrilled to be partners with the Sioux City Musketeers and, again, so thankful for their support and that of their fans,” said Aaron Van Beek, Midwest Honor Flight.

Aaron Van Beek, President of the Midwest Honor Flight, said the money from the auction will help take WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans from the area on a flight to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials.

“This partnership is in its third year, [the] third season of the Musketeers inviting us to be a part of their Military Appreciation Night and to receive the donations from their jersey auction following the game,” said Van Beek.

Rich Zaber, President of the Sioux City Musketeers, said in those three years combined, they have raised $100,000 from the jersey auction for Midwest Honor Flight.

“It’s amazing! It’s absolutely amazing to see the support of our fans, the players’ parents, to purchase these jerseys for Midwest Honor Flight,” said Rich Zaber, Sioux City Musketeers.

Because the Musketeers raised more than $50,000 from auctioning off 30 jerseys, the non-profit has named their ninth flight the “Sioux City Musketeers Mission 9” as a way to say thank you.

“That, that’s really an honor. We certainly appreciate what Midwest Honor Flight has done and what they do for the veterans, but at the same time, it’s a great program,” said Zaber.

Flights are currently on hold until August 15 due to COVID, and looking to resume them in the fall with around 800 veterans currently on the waiting list. Van Beek mentions being eager to fly again is an understatement.

“With that, one of the mandates that the national network has issues is that everybody on those flights will have to be vaccinated fully. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a requirement forever,” said Aaron Van Beek, Midwest Honor Flight.

Zaber mentions the Musketeers would like to thank their fans for helping raise money for the auction, including Ben Steve’s military-themed jersey, which received the highest bid of $4,000. Meanwhile, Chase Bradley’s jersey was auctioned off for $3,800.

Midwest Honor Flight is still currently applications for veterans, their guardians, and volunteers, along with donations.

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