[BELLA VISTA, ARK.] – The day may have begun with rain and clouds but that did not dampen the fun and excitement at the Heroes and Hamburgers celebration at the Simple Pleasures event Center in Bella Vista, Ark. Sunday’s event drew a large crowd from all over Northwest Arkansas. Young families, grandparents and singles alike flocked to the event to honor and celebrate local heroes from Bella Vista police, fire and ems departments.
Bella Vista, Ark. Mayor Christie kicked off the event with a big thanks to all of the attendees and volunteers but most importantly, the local heroes attending today’s event. “This is a tremendous event for the City of Bella Vista. You couldn’t pick a more perfect location as Simple Pleasures and the cause is one that is so important to the residents here and those that pass through our wonderful city. We have the best first responders in the nation.”, Mayor Christie said later.
Ken Miner, owner of Simple Pleasures was humbled by the turnout and thanked the attendees, volunteers and all the many sponsors of the event. The lead sponsors were T.H. Rogers Lumber Company in Bella Vista and Northwest Health Systems. Angel Hollis with the Mercy Bella Vista Emergency room said, “This is a fantastic event, a beautiful place and I am thankful we are bringing the community together to celebrate the local heroes.”
The band Walrus kept the crowd going with their mix of classic rock n’ roll. Young Madison Miner, granddaughter of Ken Miner, played a sweet rendition of “America the Beautiful” on her keyboard. Children interacted with law enforcement at activities all over the campus including hay rides, rock painting with Bella Vista, Ark. Rocks and they were also able to make “thank you” cards for their local heroes. The heroes handed out coupons for a free ice cone at the Simple Pleasures cafe.
The local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, President Les Magee presented certificates of appreciation to both Bella Vista, Ark. Police Chief, Ken Farmer and Fire Chief, Steve Sims.
“This is a great thing that Simple Pleasures and the sponsors have put together. Ken and Elaine (Miner) have been great and you couldn’t ask for a better turnout.”, said Fire Chief Sims.
Police Chief Farmer said, “We really appreciate what Ken (Miner) has done. These computers will help improve the response time allowing the first responders to go directly into the database of information versus waiting for the information second hand.”
Jeff Reed of Bella Vista Community Church, also a sponsor of the event, spoke about his experience as a police officer in Lake Forest, Ill. and urged the audience to “not take our first responders and law enforcement for granted”. “They risk their safety for our safety. They never know what they will expect each day on duty.”, he said.
Simple Pleasures will donate the proceeds of the event to the Bella Vista Foundation to purchase lifesaving computers for first responder vehicles. The total amount raised from the event was not ready at press time.