LAYTON -- The government shutdown derailed plans to hold a military quality-of-life fundraiser Saturday night at Hill Aerospace Museum.
Organizers learned midweek that their venue would be closed because workers at the museum had been furloughed over a deadlocked U.S. Congress.
The event, unofficially known as the "roundup," wasn't canceled but was moved to MacCool's Public House, in Layton. The business donated the space, but event organizer L.T. Weese, Military Task Force president, said his group has been doing its best to spread word of the venue change, but their fear is many potential guests would not get the update, and the money raised by the dinner and auction would be far less that what is needed.
"Last year, about 250 people came to the event, people that really support Hill," Weese said. "We had a lot of local politicians, and Hill supporters and volunteers. With the movement and everything else, we probably won't hit that amount. With the government shutdown, it's bad timing."
Last year's roundup raised a little more than $40,000, Weese said. That money is used to help military workers at Hill Air Force Base with counseling and other issues, he said.
"To help soften the impact of federal budget cuts, portions of our funds will be used for programs such as resiliency training, couples counseling and base chapel-sponsored reintegration retreats for returning deployed members," Weese said. "Proceeds will also go to emergency situations that may arise and various quality-of-life programs that directly support our soldiers and their families."
The task force includes volunteers both from the military and from civilian life.
"We feel it is our duty and honor to provide our armed forces a platform to showcase the sacrifices they make on a daily basis while safeguarding the freedoms we love and enjoy as Americans," Weese said. "Projects like the Special Forces Memorial are a perfect illustration of courage, skill and honor that will make future generations proud of our past and present special forces units."
Weese said the annual roundup raises about 10 times as much as any of its other fundraisers, which include the Sounds of Freedom event and associated car show.
"It will hurt," Weese said of the low turnout he projected for Saturday's fundraiser. "We are going to have to work harder. No one will suffer. We will just work harder to make up the difference. We have funds for now. What we are raising now is the funds for tomorrow. But we'll hit the ground running, and we'll find a way to make it work."
Contact reporter Nancy Van Valkenburg at 801-625-4275 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @S_ENancyVanV.