Heyworth hosts Freedom Sings USA

Posted 6/26/24

HEYWORTH — They say it “takes a village,” and Heyworth came through for the Freedom Sings USA Heyworth Retreat 2024 on June 18 and 19. 

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Heyworth hosts Freedom Sings USA


HEYWORTH — They say it “takes a village,” and Heyworth came through for the Freedom Sings USA Heyworth Retreat 2024 on June 18 and 19. 

Heyworth extended support and pride as they honored veterans participating in the Freedon Sings USA project.

The group from FSUSA told their hosts they were in awe of the large corn and bean fields they saw as they drove into the area, and they appreciated the down-home friendliness that greeted them.

“I thought the South was the hospitality capital of the U.S., but I guess not this week,” featured songwriter Bobby Tomberline said. “Heyworth really rolled out the red carpet for the team and honored veterans.”

At the standing-room-only concert, music did prove to be a powerful tool for healing, organizers said.  Songwriter Irene Kelly wrote “Do It All Again” with Robert Guy, of Heyworth. Bobby Tomberlin wrote “It’s a Long Way From Chatsworth” with Erney Runyon, of Heyworth.Bill Whyte wrote “Armadillo” with Marc Rogers, of Clinton.  Steve Dean and Don Goodman wrote “Invisible Disease” with Mark Buchholz, of Bloomington, and Don Goodman wrote “Hanoi Hilton” with Gary Sigler of Auburn.  

Freedom Sings USA’s mission is to help veterans, military personnel, and their families reach emotional balance by using the creative process of songwriting. Veterans tell their stories and those stories become songs.

The songs are then professionally recorded and put onto albums on the FSUSA’s website. The songs and experiences of these veterans are shared with others in the form of peer support groups, promoting public awareness and as coping tools to help those suffering from PTSD.

Freedom Sings USA offers workshops, group meetings, retreats, and peer-to-peer sharing through in-person and online classes with free life-long access to these classes and other resources for military veterans of any age.

Organizers thanked the groups and individuals who supported the retreat with their time and donations and said they appreciated their sponsorship of the event.

“We cannot thank you enough for believing in this mission, supporting it and investing in the retreat,” they said.  “Your support was greatly appreciated.”

Sponsors included The Sons of the American Legion Squadron 624, American Legion Post 624, Heyworth Connect, Parkview Inn/Redbird Catering, Savant Wealth Management and Pizza Ranch., and the following businesses:

Heyworth IGA, Bloomington Modern Dentistry, LaTeaDa Tea Room, CC’s Creations, Bandana’s BBQ, Main Street Yoga, Bloomington Meats, Jeffrey Alan’s, Sunny Slopes Farm Creations, Westside Clothing/Karen’s Embroidery, Ivy Lane Bakery, Hornet’s Nest, Wendell Niepagen Nursery, Baum Chevrolet-Buick,Vogel Coffee, China Star, Tasty Treats, 1st Bank of Heyworth, Kirby Foods, Save-A-Lot, Randall’s Cabinets, Wild Birds Unlimited, as well as individuals who donated their time and money to the retreat.

“Because of your generosity, we were able to write five veterans’ stories in song and to continue to work on getting them professionally produced for an Illinois album.


Submitted story