Tall Stetsons, denim, boots and big grins, dominated the "Oorah Anchors Away" Hoedown BBQ in Laguna Niguel on Saturday evening.
More than 120 came to show their support in a fundraiser to benefit the The event also honored the special heroes of the Wounded Warrior Battalion.
On hand at the Sea Country Senior and Community Center, were city officials including Mayor Paul Glaab, Councilmembers Linda Lindholm, and Robert Ming, who also served as co-chairs, Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee.
"Preserving our freedom is not free, and your very presence here tonight shows you understand this," Ming said. "We're here to support the Marines and the families of the First Battalion, Fourth Marines, the sailors and families of the USS McClusky, and to honor the special heroes of the Wounded Warriors."
He added these service men and women have chosen to dedicate their lives to protect and serve our freedoms, and those who came to the event came to express their support.
The mission of the Heroes of the Wounded Warriors Battalion is: "to provide and facilitate assistance to wounded, ill, and injured Marines, sailors and their family members throughout their phases of recovery in order to successfully return them to full duty or transition to civilian life."
The evening offered a full barbecue meal catered by Impeccable Taste Catering of Pasadena that included: potato salad, pulled pork, tri-tip, baked beans, and corn bread.
Entertainment was also a crowd pleaser that included line dancing to the sounds of the live band, "Brad Johnson and Killin' Time."
The band is the regular house band for a country line dance bar in Pomona, it also has a special connection to the city, Ming said.
"The lead singer is a former Marine from our adopted unit, the First Battalion, Fourth Marines, and he wrote the song "Killin' Time" while deployed to Iraq with the First Battalion, Fourth Marines," Ming said.
In addition, a silent auction offered everything from a Gucci belt to commemorative revolvers and pistols.
"It's all about 'boots, scoot, and boogie,' " said Lindholm, donning a cowboy hat and referring to the country tune. "This is a great event where we can all kick back, and have a good time while supporting a great cause."
Resident , said he was happy to be at the event and even dressed the part by wearing jeans, and a big western-style belt buckle.
Coordinator of the Hoedown, Shelley Greig, said the event took six months to plan.
"This is the first time we have done something casual like this, and I think it's a hit," she said. "This is our fourth year of holding a fundraiser for the Fourth and USS McClusky; the first two years we were at Camp Pendleton with a 'mess night,' and we've done fashion shows."
Ming said he expected the Hoedown would raise around $10,000 or possibly more. Funds raised will support the service men and women in our adopted units or living in Laguna Niguel and their families. The foundation does everything from helping with emergency situations when a spouse is deployed or a marine or sailor is injured, to putting on welcome home parties and providing soccer uniforms, Ming said.
Residents Sally and Tom Tews, who is on the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee, were having a good time at the event, too.
"Anything we can do for the guys," Sally Tews said. "It's great because it's casual and kicked back."
Dan Abrams, president of Laguna Niguel-based Abrams California Health Insurance Agency, said he couldn't be more excited to be attending.
"I plan to bid on everything in the silent auction," he said. "It's a fun, casual event and it helps our service men and women."
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