Weekend events honor fallen Apple Valley soldier

Christopher Goeke
Christopher Goeke

A fundraiser in Apple Valley next weekend aims to pay tribute to a local soldier killed in combat.

The Christopher Goeke Leadership Foundation, an Apple Valley-based nonprofit, will host its third annual memorial event May 4-5 with an Ultimate Frisbee tournament and barbecue.

The fundraiser and its sponsor foundation seek to preserve the memory of Christopher Goeke, an Apple Valley native who died in July 2010 from wounds suffered while serving in Afghanistan.

Goeke, who graduated from Apple Valley High School in 2004, was an avid Ultimate Frisbee player during his high school years, in addition to participating in Sunday school teaching, jazz band and mock trial. After high school, he attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated sixth in his class in 2008.

A first lieutenant with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, Goeke was one of three soldiers killed while responding to an attack on an army facility in Kandahar City, Afghanistan.

The Christopher Goeke Leadership Foundation was created less than a year after his death as a tribute to the fallen soldier, and one of its missions is to provide college scholarships to area students who embody the values for which Goeke is remembered, which the foundation describes as “pursuit of leadership excellence in mind, body and spirit.”

To that end, the foundation is hosting its annual Ultimate Frisbee tournament May 4-5 on the fields at Johnny Cake Ridge Park West. The tournament features teams from local high schools, with an awards ceremony scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday, May 5.

There’s also a barbecue planned from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in the picnic shelter at Redwood Park, located at County Road 42 and Redwood Drive. In addition to the barbecue meal, there will be games, speakers, live music and a raffle with prizes including an HDTV and iPad 3. The suggested donation for the barbecue is $10, and raffle tickets are $5.

More about the Christopher Goeke Leadership Foundation, and the memorial events, is at www.thecglf.org.