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4th annual Miles of Soul Music Fest to be held this weekend

November 8, 2018
Lehigh Acres Citizen

A Fort Myers based business is holding an event this weekend to celebrate their anniversary, Veterans Day, and to raise money for Miles Ranch.

Old Soul Brewing owner Mike Schmidt said he opened the business about four years ago with his son.

"We are both veterans," he said, adding that he is an Air Force vet from the Cold War days, and his son served in Afghanistan and Iraq. "The last three years we have used our anniversary and Veterans Day as a fundraiser for soldiers that have PTSD."

The fourth annual Miles of Soul Music Fest will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight today, Nov. 9, and from 4 p.m. until the party ends Saturday, Nov. 10, at Old Soul Brewing, 10970 S. Cleveland Ave., Suite 402 in Fort Myers. Tickets are $15 on Friday and $10 on Saturday and can be purchased at the door.

The event will feature six bands, three performing each day. The Electric Mud, Feeled Trip and SOWFLO will perform Friday and Local Aquatic, Kate Skales and the Freecoasters will perform Saturday.

Food will be catered in Friday for the event and food trucks will be onsite Saturday.

"All ages are welcome," Angela Milisitz, of Old Soul Brewing, said. "This is going to be a really great party and we need their (community) help to make it a success."

In addition to the drinks, food and entertainment, she said they will also be selling 2019 Girls with Soul Pinup calendars on both days.

Milisitz said individuals can pre-order the calendar in a few ways. First they can stop in Old Soul Brewing and providing a payment to the bartender, or by visiting and clicking on the yellow donate button, a minimum of $18 donation, and writing Pin Up calendar in the note line. The final way to pre-order the calendar is also by visiting, hitting the same donate button, but providing a minimum of $25, so the calendar can be mailed to a home address.

The charity, Miles of Smiles Foundation, was the charity of choice because Schmidt's son has PTSD and he was using the ranch and their therapy to get some help.

"We became friends with the founders. They do some really amazing therapy," he said.

Miles Ranch and the Miles of Smiles Foundation provides equine-assisted psychotherapy and equine-assisted learning programs for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I have done some volunteer work digging trenches for the horses to have water. Gail Doxie put my wife and I through a horse course and I learned exactly how horse therapy can really help people," Schmidt said.

The course included he and his wife removing two things from the obstacle course that may be hard for the horse to maneuver around, such as an orange cone, or a rope.

"My wife and I worked as a team. We put our heads together. We walked the horse through the course and we were successful," Schmidt said.

Milisitz said the therapy services are all provided for free through the ranch. The annual event is to raise funds to help Miles Ranch maintain, or support, their dream and vision.

"They are trying to help these soldiers with PTSD," Schmidt said. "They lost their son when he was just about to enter the Air Force and go into basic training. He died in a car crash."

Miles, the son, was into horses, and the one he used to ride is being used to help the soldiers.

Milisitz said they have a goal of raising $30,000 for Miles Ranch this year.



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