Photo by Ted Lutz â€“ This photo, taken before a previous deployment to Iraq, shows the soldier with his longtime girlfriend Erin Sirianni (left) and his parents, Sue and Tom VanGiesen of Lincoln Street, Kane. The 16-hour festival begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Allegheny Mountain Raceway on Highland Road near Lamont.
A 16-hour local festival Saturday will raise money to assist families of soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Staff Sgt. Kenneth VanGiesen Memorial Fallen Soldier Tribute Foundation is sponsoring the first annual Summer Fest.
The event on the grounds of the Allegheny Mountain Raceway on Highland Road near Lamont begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs until 2 a.m. Sunday.
The festival features continuous live music, food and beverages as well as entertainment for children. The admission fee for the non-profit event is $10. There is no admission charge for children age 12 and under.
VanGiesen, the son of Sue and Tom VanGiesen of Lincoln Street, Kane, was killed last year while serving in Afghanistan with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. The Foundation in his name was formed to help families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The festival is the Foundation's largest fund-raiser to date.
Amie Gullifer, the only sister of VanGiesen, is the co-president of the Foundation along with John Bernhard of Mt. Jewett.
"Harry Spaulding and his family have graciously donated the raceway for us to use as the site of the festival and we can't thank them enough," Gullifer said. "We have live entertainment the entire event."
According to Gullifer, the "daytime" entertainment includes:
See full article by purchasing the Aug. 24 edition of The Kane Republican.