Tailgating For Troops opening doors for disabled veterans

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New organization gives back to those who gave so much

By John Whitlock

Whether they are in Europe, Asia or the Middle East, soon active American military personal may have a little piece of Owenton to keep them company.
Earlier this month, Tailgating for Troops opened assembly operations in Owenton.
Joe Montgomery, who created Tailgating for Troops in 2012, said the goal of the organization is a simple yet daunting one - provide jobs for disable men and women who fought and sacrificed to protect the United States.
The disabled veterans assemble equipment for cornhole games that are sent to U.S. troops free of changes.
“By hiring disabled veterans to build and distribute various tailgating games free of charge to our troops, we hope to help raise the spirits of our brave men and women who protect our freedoms,” Montgomery said. “We will also provide an outlet for our disabled veteran workers to give back and stay connected to their fellow patriots still serving.”
Montgomery is touching up the former Dollar General Store location that will serve as the organization’s headquarters.

“Since we came into town, we’ve had nothing but positive response from everyone,” Montgomery said. “We got a lot of help from John Ashcraft (of Ashcraft Realty) and he helped set us up here.”
In recent days, deliveries have started coming in. The materials needed to make cornhole boards are stacked up in the warehouse section.
Montgomery said eventually dozens of disabled veterans will be hired to assembly the cornhole boards that will be distributed to active duty military personal and used in fundraising tournaments at many events across the country including NASCAR races, along with college and professional sporting events.
The tournaments will lead to a national championship that will be on the deck of a U.S. Navy ship in South Carolina.
With production just starting, many of the boards used in the tournaments will be assembled in Owenton.
Montgomery isn’t alone in his fight to help entertain military personnel and disabled veterans. He recently hired some help.
Sam Deeds, a disabled U.S. Marine, was wounded twice in Iraq and has undergone 40 surgeries. He will now aid Montgomery and Tailgating For Troops to do good for veterans.
“It’s been a long, difficult road but I’m here and I’m happy to help,” Deeds said.
Montgomery and Deeds share the same goal - to raise money to help support the program and provide needed jobs for disabled veterans.
“Hard work, commitment and dedication to the success of the program will allow us to meet our goal,” Montgomery said. “We know there are hundreds of options to give money to support our troops and their families.”
Montgomery said the group is always in search of potential sponsors and that the group can be contacted at cjb@tailgatingfortroops.com
To celebrate the opening of the Owenton facility, Tailgating for Troops will be holding a special two-day event at Elk Creek Winery.
The 2014 Celebration of Veterans will be held at the winery Friday and Saturday and will feature a cornhole tournament and live music each day.
On Friday at 5:30 p.m., there will be a free cornhole tournament for veterans and active duty service members. There will be barbecue, beer and live music. The boards will be open for free play after the tournament.
The highlight of the evening will be a performance by American Idol performer Lauren Mink. The singer was a participant in the 2012 season of the musical competition show.
Mink, a native of Winchester, started singing at age 9 at her local church choir and has opened for many national acts including Rodney Atkins, Billy Currington and Exile. She has been influenced and has performed covers of a wide variety of artists including Loretta Lynn, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, and Martina McBride to Pink, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce, and Pat Benatar.
The Saturday’s events will start off at noon with a 64-team maximum doubles cornhole tournament.
Montgomery said this tournament will service as a regional qualifier for the 2014 Tailgating for Troops tour.
At 1 p.m., Saturday, a 32-team recreational doubles cornhole tournament will kick off with prizes for the winners.
There will be music throughout the day featuring Jeff Ziehm performing classic rock and popular hits from noon until 4 p.m.; the Smoking Guns, 4-5:30 p.m.; and The Foles from 5 until 9 p.m.
To register for a tournament go to tailgatingfortroops.com or stop by Elk Creek Vineyards.