Group donates tabs for veterans

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Labor Day Harvest Festival Association recently donated around 40,000 pop tabs to the Give a Veteran a Piece of the High Life program from Miller High Life. Miller High Life will donate 10 cents toward paying for sporting events, concerts, outdoor adventures and more for military veterans. The smaller pile to the right shows what 100 tabs look like. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

FREEBORN — The Labor Day Harvest Festival Association donated around 40,000 can tabs Monday to a representative from MillerCoors.

Mike Diemer, of Locher Bros. Distributing, accepted the tabs that will go to Miller High Life’s second annual Give a Veteran a Piece of the High Life program. The program is in partnership with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

The program donates 10 cents per tab toward sporting events, concerts or outdoor adventures for military veterans. Gene Millang, the secretary/treasurer, presented the tabs to Diemer on Monday at the American Legion in Freeborn. Millang said the association goes to area communities to collect tabs, and often people call him up to say they have a bag full of tabs to donate.

“I like the involvement of people in other towns,” Millang said.

Millang said they counted the tabs and guessed there were around 40,000 but could be as many as 50,000. That equates to $4,000 to $5,000 to the program if each tab is worth 10 cents.

The association collected tabs last year as well and donated them toward a health care cause. Millang said the association helps with various things in the county. Another upcoming projects includes helping with the rundown jail in Walters. They’re also responsible for getting meals to area seniors.

“All it’s about is people helping people,” Millang said.

Millang said if Miller High Life does the program for a third year next year he’d like to try and collect more tabs from all over the county. He said people can just save can tabs and contact him to donate them. The address for the association is Labor Day Harvest Festival Association, PO Box 25, Freeborn MN 56032.

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans can sign up for unique experiences like fly fishing with a professional angler, visiting the bullpen before a baseball game and tours of sports arenas, among others. Veterans who are members of IAVA can register for experiences in their hometowns at www.IAVA.org, and veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars are encouraged to join the IAVA for free.