A furry black face was in the audience at last year’s, “Light Christmas concert” put on by Wartburg’s Flute Choir, Wartubium and Symphonic band.
The furry face is known around Waverly as Victor, a year-old lab service dog that is named after Wartburg’s mascot Sir Victor.
This year’s concert was held for charity in honor of Victor and his family at Retrieving Freedom (RF).
RF is a non-profit organization that trains service dogs for disabled veterans, children with autism and individuals with diabetes.
“Veterans come back and don’t want to leave their house” RF volunteer of three years and Wartburg band member, Luke Beisner said.
“It’s amazing how these dogs can give them a second chance.”
“It’s a wonderful organization to help out,” Symphonic Band Director, Scott Muntefering said, “That’s the mission of the group is to do service concerts for these organization.”
The Christmas concert was another performance, but this year Muntefering decided to hold the concert at the recently renovated VFW in Waverly for the organization.
Beisner added that Wartburg does a really good job of prioritizing service, this is something that the band can focus on and see the benefit in their own community. All the proceeds raised by the concert go directly to the organization.
The band raised $561.44 for RF through the concert.
Victor’s mother and current trainer, is also Beisner’s mom, Marit Beisner. In addition, Victor is trained at Wartburg in a leadership class.
“Not only are we promoting victor but we are promoting leadership and social work classes that work with dogs,” said Marit.
Marit thanked the audience for supporting the hometown hero.
“Retrieving Freedom and Wartburg really tie in well together and we appreciate the band’s support,” Marit said
More information on Victor and his family can be found on RF’s Facebook page that tracks the journey of when the dogs are puppies to when they are paired with their owners.
“Being a part of Retrieving Freedom has been life changing, how a simple thing of raising a dog can literally change around other people’s lives,” Luke said.