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Turfway Park to honor active duty and veteran service members from all branches Saturday, Feb. 16

Turfway Park will welcome active duty and veteran members of the U.S. Armed Forces to the track Saturday, Feb. 16., for an evening of recognition, appreciation, special guests and fun at the races.

The event begins with the first race at 6:15 p.m. and concludes with the last race, about 9:40 p.m.

A race will be named for each branch of service, with those affiliated with the featured branch invited to the winner’s circle afterward. Activities will take place on the third floor, with reserved seating in the grandstand immediately below.

Among special guests will be Keith Maupin, who founded the non-profit Yellow Ribbon Support Center in April 2004 after his son, Army Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin, was captured by Iraqi insurgents, his whereabouts unknown.

Four years later, in March 2008, Matt Maupin’s remains were located and subsequently returned to the family. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based center has since continued its work of sending care packages to deployed soldiers, educating the public, raising funds for scholarships and connecting returning veterans with employers.

Keith Maupin (file photo)

“Our mission is to support the men and women in harm’s way and remember those who don’t walk off the plane,” Maupin said. “We owe it to them to take care of them when they come home. Matt had a mission, and his mission led to my mission. I can’t stop until all of them come home, and then I’m going fishing.”

Also on hand will be Zach “Guff” McGuffey, who founded 22 Until Valhalla in 2014 to end veteran suicide.

A Marine Corps Infantry veteran, McGuffey served in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2009 to 2011. The group’s outreach includes a crisis hotline answered around the clock, outdoor adventures, holistic therapies and assistance with job placement. The group also maintains support for families left behind by veteran suicide.

Artist Mark Thesken will create one of his speed-painting pieces during the event, with the finished painting sold by silent auction. Thesken Art ministers through art and service, including travels to Haiti to teach art at local missions and help construct churches and schools.

Composer and singer Maddy Rose will sing the national anthem.

Rose leads the Cincinnati-based modern country Maddy Rose Band and has sung the anthem for the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Cyclones and at Turfway Park’s Kentucky Derby prep race, the Jeff Ruby Steaks.

Admission and parking are free.

Turfway Park

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