SCERA offers eighth Annual Free Celebration of Veterans event

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SCERA will honor Veteran’s Day on Saturday, Nov. 9, with a free USO-style show that will feature patriotic and fun entertainment and presentations in the spirit of celebrating those who have served their country in the armed forces and celebrating the freedom we all enjoy.

Scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at the SCERA Center for the Arts (745 South State Street, Orem), it’s a 90-minute production emceed by performer and SCERA staff member Shawn Mortensen, who will also sing a beautiful rendition of “Bring Him Home” from “Les Miserables” as part of the event. Admission is free, and no tickets or reservations are required. Groups from senior citizen and assisted living centers are welcome and encouraged to attend.

“SCERA is honored to have a small part in honoring our veterans by providing this free community event for the eighth year in a row,” says SCERA president & CEO Adam J. Robertson.

Orem City Mayor Jim Evans will participate in welcoming attendees. The keynote speaker will be Captain Mark J. Buffington. A ten-year veteran of the Utah Army National Guard, CPT Buffington is currently serving as the company commander of the 214th Forward Support Company. He is a trained multifunctional logistics and field artillery officer. He served with the 1st of the 145th Field Artillery Battalion in Iraq from 2007 to 2008. CPT Buffington has been awarded two Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, four Overseas Training Ribbons, the Good Conduct Medal, the Overseas Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Ribbon, the Service Ribbon and the Utah Achievement Ribbon. For the past four years CPT Buffington has been the Regional Team Leader for the Utah Community Covenant and Joining Community Forces Initiative. A ten-year resident of the City of Orem and Graduate of Utah Valley University, CPT Buffington is married to his wife Stephanie and has four children. In his not-so-spare spare time, CPT Buffington also performs on stage, having recently appeared in SCERA’s “Tarzan The Musical” and as Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.”

Among the featured musical performers will be The Bluth Sisters (Delayne Dayton, Delonne Hucks and Brandalee Streeter); The Osmond Sisters; SCERA’s national award-winning high school company, Acting Up; and SCERA’s 2013 Celebrity Vocal Competition winners Bronwyn Reed and Rebekah Willey.

In addition to the musical entertainment, SCERA will continue its tradition of having the American Legion Post 72 to lead the Parade of Service Flags featuring the different musical medleys of each division of the Armed Services.

“Every year we try to put together a show for everybody where veterans can bring their children and grandchildren, and people can feel an appreciation for our country and our freedom,” Mortensen said.

The Orem Heritage Museum, located at the historic Seminary building just south of the SCERA Center, will be open for free tours and refreshments.  The museum has an entire section dedicated to military, veteran and war displays.

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