Organizers still are tallying the money raised in Beaufort last week from a golf tournament and two concerts to benefit severely injured veterans. However, they say the events were a success and are likely to return next year.
Volunteers from the Independence Fund, a Beaufort-based nonprofit organization, did not know Monday exactly how much money was raised during the third annual Lt. Dan Weekend, a three-day fundraiser that ended Saturday with a concert featuring actor Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.
"The money is still trickling in," event spokesman Dick Clarke said. "We received $600 in cash and check donations today alone. We still have a lot of money left to count from T-shirt and ticket sales, as well."
Between 3,500 and 4,000 people paid $20 or $25 per ticket to see Sinise and his 13-piece ensemble perform in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Clarke said.
Two paintings by New York City artist Scott LoBaido were auctioned for $20,000 and $15,000, respectively, on Saturday, another indicator that a sizable amount was raised this weekend for wounded veterans.
"Like I've told our team, the accounts have not been settled yet ... and I think we did quite well, but I measure success differently," Clarke said. "I measure success by the visible change that we saw in the wounded veterans that attended (Lt. Dan Weekend.) Those are who were serve and those were our guests of honor."
About 80 severely injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from 13 states and their families were given all-expenses-paid trips to Beaufort for this weekend's festivities, which included a golf tournament on Cat Island and a 5K run and bike ride at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
All proceeds will go toward robotic wheelchairs, therapy and other care for veterans in attendance and across the country, organizers said.
Though plans have not been finalized, Clarke said a fourth annual Lt. Dan Weekend appears likely.
"An overwhelming number of people at the concert on Saturday night endorsed the idea of having an event next year, and we have passed the message along to Mr. Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band that we would love to have them back in Beaufort," Clarke said.
- Actor Sinise, thousands rally for injured vets, Sept. 15, 2012
- Gary Sinise talks veterans, Lt. Dan Band performance in Beaufort, Sept. 12, 2012