Despite the blustery weather on Veterans' Day, area residents gathered to support the efforts of Cherry Grove's Cowboy Church musicians to draw attention to the Wounded Warriors and the Spring Valley Food Shelf by providing a concert at the Spring Valley Community Center.

The Wounded Warriors' website,,states that its mission is "to honor and empower wounded warriors" with a vision "to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history."

1. The vision of the Wounded Warriors is three fold: To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.

2. To help injured service members aid and assist each other.

3. To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

The Wounded Warrior program helps Veterans deal with a variety of situations, which were directly caused by their time in military service. On their website many stories can be read in the "Meet A Warrior" section. A need to become better educated about the ongoing struggles many military personnel deal with after they return home is needed.

Attention was also brought to the needs of the Spring Valley Area Food Shelf, located just a fourth of a mile west of Kwik Trip. It is open on Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m. The Food Shelf staff appreciates donations of food or money. Any donations can be dropped off at Our Savior's Lutheran Church at 805 South Broadway or at City Hall, 201 South Broadway, or by bringing donations to the food shelf when it is open.

The idea to get the group together to sponsor a benefit on Veterans Day came from Leonard Leutink, who has teamed with Cindy Seabright to enrich the lives of those in Southern Minnesota with their performances. On stage for Sunday's Concert were: Walter Bradley, Steve Arnold, Cindy Seabright, Leonard Leutink, Roger Svebakken, Gaye Stockdale, Arlen Sloan, and Country At Heart with Mary Schultz, Diane Bicknese and Denise Hayes performing.

The group plans to do another concert in the spring in conjunction with Memorial Day.

Sunday's benefit program was emceed by Pastor Mark Rader of Faith United Methodist Church in Spring Valley. The musicians stepping up to the microphones and supplying the musical accompaniment were from Cowboy Church, which is sponsored by the United Methodist Churches in Cherry Grove, Fountain, and Spring Valley and held at the Cherry Grove United Methodist Church on the first Sunday evening of each month. Country, Christian Country, Bluegrass, Country Gospel and Cowboy music is featured at this service with musicians invited to come an hour early to practice with the band.

The next Cowboy Church Service is set for Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. in Cherry Grove.