More than 350 people showed their support for the troops at the USO Fort Hood’s second annual gala.

The “Yellow Ribbon Gala” held Friday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center aimed to raise $50,000 to be used for troops at Fort Hood, said Robin Crouse, local director.

“Each year we gain more momentum,” she said. “It’s a magical night.”

Martha Tyroch, of the McLane Group, agreed.

“It’s a true gift to see the commitment and support of so very many individuals from across the county,” she said.

Money raised through ticket sales, a silent auction and donations will be used to support programs, such as family game night, which brings families together to play games and enjoy dinner with the USO, said Isabel Hubbard, programs manager.

“It allows programs and services to keep functioning and keep carrying on for another year,” she said. “(Our donors) recognize that the USO is a vehicle for them to make a difference in the lives of soldiers and families.”

Howard Konetchy, a member of the USO Fort Hood’s advisory council, said he got involved because the USO positively impacted his life as a 17-year-old sailor in World War II. “It was a place to hang out,” he said. “It’s very important if you’re away from home and a young kid to have a safe place to go.”

The evening’s guest speaker was Tony Orlando, singer of the 1970s hit, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.”

He said he spent Thursday visiting Fort Hood with Crouse.

“I wish every American could have the experience of touring this unbelievable place, because you walk out of there swelled with American pride.”

For more on the USO gala, read Wednesday’s Fort Hood Herald.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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