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UMD scholarship fundraiser to be held Thursday

A fundraiser for a scholarship fund that benefits University of Minnesota Duluth students who are veterans, active-duty service members, National Guard members or reservists will be held Thursday.

The UMD Commander David R. Wheat Higher Education Returns Opportunities Scholarship was started by Rick and Dianna Smith and has raised more than $50,000.

Today’s event is from 5-8 p.m. at the Sports Garden, 425 Lake Ave. S. The cost is $15 and includes a spaghetti dinner and live and silent auctions. A commemorative coin honoring Wheat will also be sold.

Wheat, a UMD alumnus, completed 80 missions as a radio intercept officer during the Vietnam War, and was captured when his plane was shot down. He was held as a prisoner of war for more than seven years, never divulging U.S. military information despite isolation and torture. He was released in 1973. He was awarded several honors, including the Purple Heart and National Defense Service Medal.