9/10/12 – You could have heard a pin drop Saturday night at the American Hero’s Music Festival as Joe Cantafio played the song “Brave Warrior.” Rain forced the headliner from the band shell to a dry concession tent and while the weather may have thinned the crowd, emotions ran high as Chicago Joe traded his amplified band for an acoustic guitar. After leading the intimate crowd through a rousing version of Don McLean’s “America Pie,” Joe closed out the night out with “Brave Warrior,” a song he wrote for his cousin, Beaver Dam-native Ryan Cantafio who died on Thanksgiving in 2004 while defending our country. Ryan’s funeral inspired Joe to write “Brave Warrior” and start the festival. The USO entertainer – who is weeks away from another tour in Afghanistan – has held a free throw fundraiser in Chicago each summer for the past four years to pay for the entertainment; the Exchange Club of Beaver Dam coordinates the event locally. Chicago Joe says he’ll be back in Beaver Dam again next year to celebrate our emergency responders, veterans and Gold Star Families. Mayor Tom Kennedy is a member of the Exchange Club and he says the organization recognizes the importance of the festival and will continue its support.