For someone born on the Fourth of July, you know their destiny in life will obviously include patriotism as a deep-rooted character quality. That’s exactly what you find with Boot Campaign’s Co-Founder Sherri Reuland. Patriotism runs deep in her veins and her love for America and the spirit of freedom manifested in the formation of little charity known as Boot Campaign with the help of four gal pals.
She credits friendship as the secret sauce that brings a celebratory flavor to Boot Bash, the annual fundraising event in Tyler, TX at the Rio Neches Ranch. Hosts Harry and Dawn Leatherwood generously open the doors to their gorgeous property each year to ensure fun and “fun-raising” couple together in a lively dance of celebration with a meaningful outcome to support the mission and message of Boot Campaign.
When asked what is so endearing about Boot Bash, Sherri credits the inspiration her friends Heather and Joe Nichols have for their country and their community.
“It’s the perfect way to engage local friends to give back when veterans come back,” said Sherri. “Boot Bash was born after Joe wanted to do something meaningful for those who have served to protect our freedom and harness the spirit of the community in the process.”
The collection of East Texas friends, including renown party planners Susan Davis and Debbie Roosth of Dot the I fame, gathered again April 14 with performances by Joe and his friends Kevin Fowler, Chris Cagle and Billy Dean. The foot stomping music was a crowd pleaser for the people who traded their shoes for combat boots in a patriotic expression of gratitude for those who wear them daily to protect our freedoms. Combined with great food, lively spirits donated by our long-time friends at Shiner and Tito’s, the arena-filled venue oozed of red, white and blue.
Over the course of these five years Boot Bash has grossed over $850,000 to support the mission of Boot Campaign; funding needed care for our men and women who come back, regardless of when they served, with the hidden wounds of war. And that is one of the reasons Harry and Dawn so generously lend their time, talent and treasure toward this local event too. Dawn’s brother Jeff is active duty and currently deployed. It hits home for her that the mission of Boot Campaign is to “be here for them” when they come home in need of help. As she told her friends just days before Boot Bash, “… I wish he (Jeff) could be with us this Sunday. Jeff is still overseas keeping us safe so we can live over here and have fun parties. If you can – please join us to honor the men and women who have given, continue to give so unselfishly to protect our rights and freedom. Some of them need us now – and they absolutely deserve our help.”
For many of our Boot Campaign followers, gathering friends and celebrating freedom has been their way to give back, just like Sherri, Joe and their friends have done faithfully over the years. It really isn’t hard to have a party with a purpose. Won’t you join in the fun? Turn your next family gathering, crawfish boil, backyard barbecue, holiday, Facebook or Instagram post into a fundraiser for Boot Campaign! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have or click here to start your fundraiser!