OPERATION NEVER FORGOTTEN

BOZEMAN, BIG SKY – If you like to sing and want to give back to American Veterans, an upcoming open mic singing competition might be for you.

A fundraiser hosted by Operation Never Forgotten at the American Legion on March 15 and 16 in Bozeman, the Freedom Sound Off will help bring injured warriors to Big Sky. The Karaoke contest is first-come-first-serve, with a 30-singer limit.

The contest judges are Heaven Phillips, of Big Sky Broadway, and Deborah Schuerr, of Bozeman. Phillips is a classically trained, award winning performer who has appeared on Broadway and around the world. Schuerr, a piano and voice teacher and a songwriter, has composed for a concert in Japan, a jazz orchestra and MSU film projects.

Contest prizes include a trip to Nashville to join ONF spokesman Lee Greenwood for dinner and backstage at the Grand Ole Opry during his performance, a summer vacation package at the Huntley Lodge in Big Sky, and a llama trek in Yellowstone.

All this is part of ONF’s efforts to bring post-9-11 wounded veterans to participate in therapeutic outdoor programs through the SAS project, short for Sports, Afield and Stream, in Big Sky.

The SAS Project is “about healing physically, mentally and emotionally through challenge, education and comradeship,” said ONF President Linda Kelly. “We help redefine the possible and create new passions for those who deserve more.” Veterans’ families and caregivers are also welcome as part of the SAS Project, Kelly said.

ONF is a volunteer-run nonprofit that creates recognition for troops, wounded veterans, fallen heroes and military families. Its efforts are through national billboards, airport signs and broadcast media campaigns.

Find out more about the Freedom Sound Off or sign up online at freedomsoundoff.org.