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On Friday evening, May 10, for the second year in a row, eleven original members of four local bands, reunited as Bandmates, Brothers and Friends, performed in Waukon to benefit the Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation. The crowd at the Allamakee Fairgrounds Pavilion was estimated well over 500 who attended the event to witness this second reunion.

Bandmates, Brothers & Friends & Toe Tappers Reunion Huge Success!

On Friday evening, May 10, for the second year in a row, eleven original members of four local bands, reunited as Bandmates, Brothers and Friends, performed once again in Waukon to benefit the Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation.   The crowd at the Allamakee Fairgrounds Pavilion was estimated well over 500 who attended the event to witness this second reunion and celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Toe Tappers band as well.

Pictured is Joe Sweeney, at left on the drums, with long-time member, Lyle Hanson, at right, on the guitar.

 

The Toe Tappers never had the opportunity to celebrate this milestone due to COVID, but were overwhelmed by fans at this event.  Joe Sweeney, who has always been the one concrete member of this band all these years, opened the show with Lyle Hanson, another long-time member, in addition to Dean Mielke and Sis Stemper.

“We were happy to be a part of the celebration and appreciated everyone congratulating us on our many years of music,” states Sweeney.  “We want to thank all of our friends who came and for your contributions to the hospital.  We also thank the hospital Foundation and all of the Bandmates, Brothers, and Friends for letting The Toe Tappers play with them.”

Many of the returning Bandmates, Brothers and Friends musicians were originally from Waukon including brothers Bill Withers, Jim Withers, John Withers, along with Gary Hesla, Bob Bechtel, Dave Dougherty, Brad Prestemon, Todd Pickett and Joel Anderson.  They were joined by Keel Clemmens and Jamey Lideen, longtime band members over the years.  The 12th original band member, the late Pat Dougherty, was remembered during the event, with his brother Dave joining the band.  His family displayed many of Pat’s instruments and memories just inside the door for viewing that evening.

“What a night! We has such a great crowd throughout the evening, and literally every parking spot was occupied around the fairgrounds,” explains Bill Withers, event coordinator.  “Getting to play alongside Joe Sweeney and The Toe Tappers was the highlight for me, and, raising thousands more than last year for such a great cause.  A couple of us have already been discussing whether there’s anything left in the tank for a return next year, but the community really does enjoy a good barn dance, and goodness, did they show up!”

Free will donation was offered during the event, as well as on-line.  Food sales were also offered. Together these raised over $11,100 in total with all proceeds going to the Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation, to purchase a Pyxis medication dispensing system for the Emergency Room.  This system makes medication delivery much more efficient for the nurse and safer for the patient.

Donations are still being accepted on-line for the event at www.veteransmemorialhospital.com, by clicking the DONATE button at the top of the page.