Freedom Fest Finale Is Coming

The tenth annual final Freedom Fest in La Crosse is coming up in just over a week. This year, John Fogerty is set to headline the concert. Organizers have also announced that it's the last year the annual event will be held.
 
Tonight Fox 25/48's Erin O’Brien explains how freedom fest has grown over the last ten years and how organizers plan to keep its legacy alive even after the final performance. 
 
It started off small in 2008. A concert at the La Crosse airport attracted eleven hundred people. Fast forward ten years, and Freedom Fest is now a staple in La Crosse's summer music lineup, drawing about four to six thousand people each year on UW-La Crosse's campus. 
 
But the organization keeps the focus not on those numbers... But on how it helps veterans each year. 
 
"That’s really probably one of the most important reasons that we all gather every year for freedom fest is to honor our fallen heroes and all the ones that sacrificed everything for us. Which this year we're going to be honoring 196."
 
The proceeds from the concert also go to scholarships for Wisconsin veterans totaling 185,000 dollars so far. 
 
Funds raised from Freedom Fest even helped build and maintain this Veterans Hall of Honor on UW La Crosse's campus, a year-round tribute to Wisconsin’s veterans and fallen heroes. 
 
"No other event in La Crosse is going to support the veterans in any way like we do. We support all of our veterans through scholarships that they can apply for every year. And then no other event in La Crosse honors all 196 of our fallen soldiers from the state of Wisconsin and their families and brings them all together for an evening to honor all their sacrifices."
 
And because this is the last time the concert will be held, organizers have a plan in place for the funds raised this year. 
 
"We're starting up an endowment fund that will go to support and continue providing scholarships to veterans returning to La Crosse and the entire state of Wisconsin that want to continue their education by going to a university system school."
 
All in an effort to keep the mission of Freedom Fest alive.
 
In La Crosse, Erin O’Brien, Fox 25/48 News at Nine. 
 

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