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First "VetFest Beer-B-Que" Event Honors Veterans

Nov 19, 2018 04:48PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Manhattan Beach's first annual "VetFest Beer-B-Que" - honoring veterans and raising funds for veterans' causes - was a rousing success, drawing crowds from around town as well as a special guest.

The November 11 event was presented by the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club and Kinecta Federal Credit Union in honor of veterans, active duty serviceman, and first responders. It featured craft beer tasting hosted by Rock & Brews, a Texas-style barbecue feast, Cream'wiches from Fishbar, and music from the popular "yacht rock" band Yachty by Nature.

"This is the best, most successful 'first time' for an event I have ever seen," said Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano.

Surprise guest Gene Simmons, the KISS frontman who is a partner in Rock & Brews made an appearance, causing a ripple of excitement in the crowd. 

"As far as I'm concerned, every day is Veteran's Day - every day," said Simmons. 

Simmons, who immigrated from Israel at age 8, said that if it hadn't been for the military, his mother and his family would have been killed in concentration camps in World War II. 

"The next time you're standing in line and you see someone in uniform standing behind you, get out of the way, and make way for a hero," he said.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward veterans-related charities Team Rubicon, Bob Hope USO, UCLA Operation Mend; and other local charities that the Manhattan Beach Rotary supports.

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