Thunder on the Dam was a 'roaring' success

 

 

Sean O’Brien, assistant road captain for the American Legion Riders and event organizer, mingles last Saturday with Tiffany Valentine, singer and guitarist for headlining rock ‘n’ rollers Colt Buckelew & the Crossroads. The event, which was hosted by the Buchanan Dam Beach Club, raised more than $4,200 for the American Legion’s Legacy Scholarship Fund, including $850 from the band’s tip jar.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Bikers and other supporters of the American Legion piled into the Buchanan Dam Beach Club Saturday, Sept. 20, after riding 120 miles around the Hill Country, ready to enjoy each other’s company and good music. It was all for a good cause.

The event raised more than $4,200 for the American Legion’s Legacy Scholarship Fund, which helps children of veterans who have died since 9/11 realize their college dreams.

“We had forty bikers sign up” for the second annual Thunder on the Dam event, said Sean O’Brien, assistant road captain for the American Legion Riders and event organizer. “It was a good ride, everyone seemed to enjoy it, and we’re definitely doing it again next year.”

Headlining rock ‘n’ rollers Colt Buckelew & the Crossroads, from Burnet, raised $850 from their tip jar. Not only is all of that money going toward the scholarship fund, but they plan on donating a percentage of their tips from now on, said guitarist and singer Tiffany Valentine.

Lead singer Colt Buckelew, the son of a veteran, said it was an honor to “play for a room full of heroes.” Many of the participants were veterans or relatives of veterans, American Legion Riders, and members of the Patriot Guard, who escort fallen heroes to their final resting places.

The band comes complete with at least one self-described “groupie,” Ronald Harrod, a Vietnam vet who said he has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He said Colt Buckelew & the Crossroads saved his life by helping him deal with his emotions. “They were so nice they got me to open up to other people,” he said, adding that he loves their “wonderful music.”

Guests enjoyed a barbeque plate complete with brisket, sausage and ribs. What about vegetarian fare? “There’s some grass over there,” O’Brien said with a smile.

O’Brien, who lives in Burnet, is a member of American Legion Post 593 in Converse, Texas. O’Brien is the son of a Vietnam veteran and active in the organization as the son of a legionnaire. Many of the event attendees were from the San Antonio area, O’Brien said.

Buchanan Dam Beach Club was a major sponsor of the event, letting the organization hold their event at their bar for no charge. Other sponsors included Colt Buckelew & the Crossroads, Pat’s Bar, Granite-O-Bar, Reverend Jim’s Dam Pub, and Fuzzy’s Corner. 

 

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