Veterans Appreciation Banquet to be held Nov. 2

Cpl. Dan McKinney
Tim Howsare


A veteran of both World War II and the Korean War will be the keynote speaker at the 14th annual Texas Panhandle Appreciation Banquet on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Borger Elks Lodge.
Cpl. Dan McKinney served in the U.S. Army in Europe during WWII and then in Korea, where he was a prisoner of war for 28 months.
McKinney started basic training when he was a “snot-nosed 16-year-old kid.” He is now 93 years old and lives in Amarillo.
Asked if he had any medals or awards he’d like to highlight, McKinney joked, “Any of my medals could be bought for $2 or a cup of coffee.”
Clayton Norton, chairman of the Texas Panhandle Veterans Appreciation Banquet, said that McKinney has an amazing story to tell.
The banquet is not only free to veterans and their family members, but to anybody who wants to attend.
The menu lineup is first rate and will be catered by Fresh Ideas, the food service company contracted by Frank Phillips College.
The choice of entrees are chicken fried steak and chicken breast. Sides include mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, tossed salad, rolls and desserts.
The master of ceremonies this year will be Walt Howard, an anchor with NewsChannel 10 in Amarillo.
Norton said he will be doing a live TV interview with Channel 10 on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7 and 9 a.m.
The banquet is being held in memory of Odis McClellan, a longtime Elks Lodge member and supporter who passed away in July.
This event to honor local veterans is much more than a just a banquet.
Socializing begins at 3:30 p.m. and the opening ceremonies start at 4:30.
The dinner starts at 6 p.m.
The Amarillo Firefighters Drum and Bugle Corps will perform, and Borger High School band director Kevin Kuehler and one of his students, David Hodges, will perform “Echo Taps.”
In “Echo Taps,” one bugler or trumpeter plays a line and then the other musician repeats or “echos” it.
Dan Holcumb, one of the committee members, will sing the national anthem.
Veterans are encouraged to wear their uniforms or any ribbons or medals.
The banquet is funded entirely through donations and is proudly brought to the community through the dedication of the following: Jeremy and Odis McClellan American Legion, Borger Elks Lodge, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America. American Legion Harry P Stumpf, and their auxiliaries. For more information or to make a donation, call Norton at 806-231-7499.
The Elks Lodge is located at 200 Opal St. behind Country Chevrolet.