LEWISTON — The Travis Mills Foundation will once again team up with the Gendron Franco Center on Thursday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. for a special tribute concert and reception to honor Maine’s veterans. The event is designed to motivate, educate, inspire and entertain, and to raise awareness for veterans and active duty military personnel from Maine. Performers will include the center’s Executive Director, Mitch Thomas, Josh Hatfield, Laurie Sidelinger, Tony Morin, Jay Barrett, Jody Steidel, Maddy Leslie and Jeff Mayerson.

Retired United States Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees. In April 2012, Mills was critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan by an IED (improvised explosive device) while on patrol, losing portions of both legs and both arms. He is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries.

In September 2013, Mills founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist combat-injured veterans. Last summer, the foundation opened its doors to the historic Maine Chance Lodge & Retreat, a fully accessible facility for combat-injured veterans and their families. The retreat welcomed 57 veterans and their families from 23 states, 150 people in all. The retreat is a uniquely-designed, fully-accessible, comfortable lodge for relaxation, adaptive sports and family recreation.

The doors will open and the bar will be open at 6:30 p.m. At the 7:30 concert, the Franco-American War Veterans Color Guard of Post 31 will present the flags of the United States and the five branches of the U.S. military. A special tribute to the Maine service men and women killed in combat since Sept. 11, 2001 will be the highlight of the event. Representatives from the Travis Mills Foundation will be the keynote speaker. After the concert, a reception with light hors d’oeuvres and cash bar will be offered back in Heritage Hall.

The event is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted for the fundraising concert and reception. Proceeds from the Franco Center event will benefit the organization. The free tickets can be acquired in advance by visiting or calling the Box Office at 46 Cedar Street or 783-1585. Hours are Monday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m.

The Gendron Franco Center is handicap accessible and is located on the corner of Cedar and Oxford Streets in the “Little Canada” section of Lewiston, just across the Bernard Lown Peace Bridge from New Auburn.

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