The Welk Resort Branson was commended for its community service with a ARDA Ace Community Service Award for their Yellow Ribbon Tribute to Veterans. The ACE Community Service Award recognizes outstanding community contributions by an ARDA member, individual or organization, during the calendar year. This year the prestigious award was presented to the team at Welk Resort Branson for the tributes they pay to our Service Personnel, particularly during Branson Veterans Homecoming Week.
The week-long festivities have become the second biggest veterans’ event in the country after Washington, D.C. The Vietnam Memorial Wall replica has been a serious commitment for the resort for the last sixteen years. Throughout the week, visitors from schools, ROTC programs, and other organizations as well as the veterans and general public come to look at the wall, dropping off flowers and memorabilia and looking for loved ones’ names. Some veterans have come to visit the wall replica simply because it is much closer to them than traveling all the way to D.C. Throughout the day, volunteers read aloud the names of the Vietnam veterans whose names are listed on the wall.
The Welk Resort also holds two significant ceremonies by the wall: the Opening Ceremony for the Wall and the POW/MIA Service of Tribute and Remembrance. The 2012 keynote speaker for the Memorial Wall opening ceremony was Corporal Eddie Beasley who had lost his legs in the Vietnam War and in 2010 was presented with in iBbot chair from performer Tony Orlando, who had raised $50,000 for the chair.