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Band leader keynote speaker for Dearborn Heights Kiwanis Veterans Day Dinner

A former 81st Army Band leader will tell his life story and perform music at the Veterans Day Appreciation Dinner held Nov. 8 by the Kiwanis Club of Dearborn Heights at the Stitt American Legion Post, 23850 Military.

David “Ruxy” Rucks will be the key speaker at the 6:30 p.m. Thursday dinner. Rucks joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Chicago where he led the 81st Army Rock Band for the Recruiting Command. The band toured the Tri-State area of Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin to attract youth to consider a career in the armed forces.

“We always have veterans as our key speakers,” said Mark Slater, who is co-chairing the event with his wife Carol for the Kiwanis Club. “Since the people coming to the dinner are from the general public, they're given the experience of a veteran.

“We also go to local schools to bring in young people to learn from a veteran talking about his experiences,” Slater said.

Rucks used his army experience (along with a double performance major at Berklee College of Music) as a stepping stone to a teaching and performing career in music. Today, Rucks owns “Chief Musicians Teaching Ministries.”

He has also established a 12-piano choir at Muskegon Middle School (so successful that the program will now be offered at the high school level). At the dinner, Rucks will intertwine music from a portable hand-held keyboard.

For tickets or more information, call (313) 561-5778. People can pay at the door if they call in advance ($18, $6 for students, free for Dearborn Heights veterans).


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