"The home of hometown heroes"

By Mike Hastings

Sometimes out of tragedy comes hope.  A clear vision of what should be done so that the tragedy does not overwhelm all the good that came before it.

For Bobby Siemens, a local Bellevue business man and owner of Red Line Bar & Grille, that moment of clarity came soon after he learned of the death of his friend John Wilson.

For most people who met John, he was a happy, generous good friend.  But unknown to most, he also suffered from depression.  Earlier this year, the depression overwhelmed him and he took his own life.

“John was as nice a person as God has ever breathed life into,” Siemens said.

Bobby had a hard time understanding until he started talking to other people.

“We all new as many as 22 military people who killed themselves because of depression and I thought to myself, I have to do something to help other people going through this,” he said.

So Siemens contact the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide, as well as The Journey Home, the organization started by Country Music legend Charlie Daniels to help veterans overcome PSD.

Then he set out to do what he does best, throw a party.  He went to other club owners in town, as well as beverage distributors and organized a fund raiser.

This Saturday, that clear vision Siemens had will become reality.

The band Vinyl Radio will entertain the crowd and friends and family of John Wilson will gather to honor his memory.

“We wanted to honor John in a positive way, by giving back to the community,” Siemens said.

The $10 tickets to the event are available not only at Red Line, but also, thanks to the cooperation of competing club owners, are available at Players, The Alley, Jonathan’s, Antonio’s and the Corner Pub.

AJAX Turner has paid for the band and donated the Budweiser, as well as help pay for posters and marketing material.

All the money that is raised will be donated to the AFPS and Journey Home charities.

There will be dancing, singing and remembering.

“John was a true gentleman,” Siemens said.  “He had the ability to make people better, to bring out the best in you.”

He has certainly done that here, even in death.

Hope to see you all Saturday.

Giving Back - Vet Fundraiser Set for Saturday