Neil Young Honored for Help
by C. J. Putnam Wyoming State Tribune

Stating the Silver Lining Concert last August, “was a memorable experience,” musician Neil Young returned Cheyenne Wednesday to receive accolades and honors from government officials for his volunteer work.

Also honored were Bruce Hauser and the Saw Mill Creek band and Cheyenne singer Michael DeGreve, two others who performed at the August 29 concert last year aiding the victims of the August 1 flood.

More than 140 people received certificates of appreciation for their work in providing relief to the flood victims at Wednesday’s luncheon.

Mayor Don Erickson presented Young with the key to the city while Wyoming Governor Ed Herschler proclaimed Wednesday as “Neil Young Day.” Wednesday was also Neil Young’s 41st birthday and a surprise visit by Mae West with a balloon bouquet was part of the festivities.

The concert held before the frontier Park grandstand raised $136,365, to help defray losses suffered in the devastating flood. After expenses, a total of $117,772 was donated to four Cheyenne public service organizations between Sept 19 1985 and May 20, 1986, for disbursement. Those organizations were the Laramie County Chapter of the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Community Action of Laramie County, and Interfaith Recovery task Force.

Herschler designated DeGreve and Jackson based musician Brad Hauser as a “bona fide honorary cowboy of Wyoming” and as Young already had received the designation during the 1985, concert, the special day proclamation was issued.

Herschler jokingly told Young not to be too impressed with his key to the city as “after all we didn’t have anything locked up until you showed up.

Attorney Don Riske said the true victims of the flood were the families of the 12 individuals who died as were those without resources to replace flood losses.

Riske said people were ” invisibly affected” by the flood as their homes “look the same on the outside but inside, they lost almost everything they had.”

“We are the recipients of a lot of love from this man…and it’s our obligation to carry it on,” Riske said.

“I just want to thank you all for being so kind and making my wife and I feel so welcome here’” Young told the gathering. “ I hope we turned it around so we can remember it happily instead of the tragedy that really did happen.”

Young interrupted a nationwide tour to appear with his band at no expense to the people of Cheyenne at the Silver Lining Concert.

The appreciation luncheon, hosted by the Mountain bell Foundation, had originally been scheduled for August 29, the anniversary of the concert but had to be moved to fit Young’s current tour schedule.

DeGreve who wrote a song about the flood, Silver Lining, performed the song at the conclusion of the luncheon, held at the Hitching Post Inn.

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