Winter Park could pay for discontinuing Veterans Rally |

Winter Park could pay for discontinuing Veterans Rally

To the Editor:

As a U.S. Marine, the former chairman of the Salute to Veterans Rally and a resident of the Cripple Creek area in Teller County, event I would like to inform your community in the Fraser Valley of a couple of items that I believe should weigh heavily in the decision making process in continuing or discontinuing this great event in Winter Park.

Since Pro-Promotions decision to withdraw from the City of Cripple Creek, Cripple Creek City Council has tried desperately to replicate the Salute to American Veterans event ” to no avail. In the past two years Cripple Creek has spent in excess of $375,000 in its efforts to revive what they had lost.

During the past two years I have been contacted by scores of business owners from Cripple Creek, as well as city council members, and city managers asking, “How do we restore the event?” My answer has been and will remain the same ” without Mr. and Mrs. Wear, Pro-Promotions, and the support of Veterans nationwide, it will not happen. The “Black Eye” suffered by Cripple Creek in their apparent disrespect of both Veterans and bikers is real and lasting. It may never fully heal.

When asked if I would take on the endeavor myself my answer, of course, is the same: Never would I, or for that matter anyone in the Veterans world, attempt what the Wear’s and Pro-Promotions have accomplished with their efforts over the many years that they have been producing the Salute to American Veterans event.

Tens of thousands of people are loyal to this event, and all the people that are instrumental in producing this internationally recognized rally.

Please make no mistake in thinking that Veterans are not loyal, or that they have short memories ” they do not. We are a strange lot, as we are extremely loyal to those that are loyal to us. I can say the same for the motorcycle community.

I think it also bears mention that I was present for the discussions between the Rally Committee and the Winter Park Chamber when a three-year commitment was made to the Rally by the Chamber. I understand that this fact is now public knowledge and should be seriously considered. In my opinion, Your Town Council’s unexpected decision to cancel this event after 2 years may very well be its demise as the organizers have been blind sided, and may not have the time needed to re-locate the event for 2009.

Lastly, please consider the damage that not continuing the event will have on all the event participants. No other event in all of our great US of A, does for men and women, either formerly in the military or currently serving, what the Salute to American Veterans does for them ” for a few days in August they matter.

Chris Mauter

Former chairman

Salute to American Veterans Rally

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