He­roes and Ham­burg­ers

■ The event of­fers the chance to meet local he­roes while cel­e­brat­ing Amer­i­can val­ues.

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - Spe­cial To The Weekly Vista

Af­ter the suc­cess of last year’s in­au­gu­ral He­roes and Ham­burg­ers fes­ti­val, which brought to­gether the Bella Vista com­mu­nity with its first re­spon­ders, Sim­ple Plea­sures Events Cen­ter is host­ing the sec­ond an­nual event on Sept. 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Bella Vista High­lands.

The event — de­signed to help area fam­i­lies get to know the local po­lice, fire and emer­gency ser­vice work­ers — will in­clude a kids mu­sic fes­ti­val, clas­sic car rides, a thank-a-hero card station, Sim­ple Plea­sures’ signature wood-fired cheese­burg­ers, games, stir­ring pa­tri­otic big band mu­sic by the JM Band, a grand fi­nale fire­works dis­play and more. There will be a com­mu­nity giv­ing ta­ble where guests can make do­na­tions to one of three local non­prof­its.

“We had an in­cred­i­ble time at last year’s event, and the com­mu­nity re­ally came out to sup­port the Bella Vista first re­spon­ders,” said Ken Miner, founder of Sim­ple Plea­sures. “This year, we have some new things planned and know they’ll all add up to a great af­ter­noon of cel­e­brat­ing Amer­i­can val­ues and en­joy­ing whole­some, fam­ily fun.”

Part of the ap­peal of He­roes and Ham­burg­ers will be the op­por­tu­nity for Bella Vista res­i­dents to en­gage in fes­ti­val ac­tiv­i­ties right along­side mem­bers of the po­lice and fire/EMS de­part­ments — some­thing Miner be­lieves is of ma­jor sig­nif­i­cance.

“It’s easy to be afraid of what you don’t know and un­der­stand,” said Miner, who helped raise more than $25,000 for the pur­chase of new city ve­hi­cle equip­ment through last year’s He­roes and Ham­burg­ers event. “That’s why we want our fam­i­lies — and kids es­pe­cially — to get to know the po­lice and fire/ EMS de­part­ments … There’s no rea­son to be afraid of these heroic men and women who are work­ing daily for our ben­e­fit. And we want our cit­i­zens to know and be proud of our first-re­spon­ders.”

Also new this year is pre­sent­ing spon­sor Mach 1 Fi­nan­cial Group, which sup­ports Miner’s vi­sion for the event and is look­ing for­ward to play­ing a role in an event that can fa­cil­i­tate com­mu­nity unity.

“With all of the com­mu­ni­ties across the na­tion that seem to be di­vided and strug­gling to find com­mon ground, it’s such a bless­ing when the towns that you call home can all come to­gether, have fun and sup­port those who pro­tect us ev­ery day,” said Kyle Alexan­der, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Mach 1 Fi­nan­cial Group. “We’re proud to be the pre­sent­ing spon­sor of He­roes and Ham­burg­ers.”

Ad­mis­sion to the fam­ily- friendly event is free. Those con­sid­er­ing at­tend­ing He­roes and Ham­burg­ers are en­cour­aged to bring the kids and lawn chairs and to be pre­pared for fun.

In the event of rain, the fes­ti­val will be resched­uled for Oct. 1.

“We want this to be a great ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one and to build a sense of pride in our com­mu­nity,” Miner said. “We’re very for­tu­nate to live in a place like Bella Vista, and hope­fully this event will re­mind us how blessed we are.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.heroe­sand­ham­burg­ers.com.

Photo sub­mit­ted

Bella Vista’s own JM band will bring their stir­ring pa­tri­otic con­cert to Sim­ple Plea­sures stage in the Bella Vista High­lands as part of this year’s He­roes and Ham­burg­ers cel­e­bra­tion. A fire­works fi­nale co­or­di­nated with “God Bless Amer­ica” will end He­roes the day with a bang.

Photo sub­mit­ted

He­roes and Ham­burg­ers of­fers a wide va­ri­ety for chil­dren and adults, in­clud­ing this thank-a-hero card-draw­ing station.

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