‘Carry The Load’ Comes To Thomson Melon Days at Heirloom Market & Cafe
The Heirloom Market & Café will be hosting a Melon Days Fall Festival on Saturday, September 22, 2012. With plenty of fun, like family activities from face painting to camel rides, this year’s festival is meant to not only ring in the fall season, but to feature a tribute to those who have served and those who have fallen in the service of our country’s military.
Solutions From Science (the parent company of The Heirloom Market & Café) is teaming up with “Carry The Load,” an organization which drives attention and steers resources towards existing non-profit organizations already supporting veteran families and veteran organizations.
U.S. Navy veteran and former SEAL, Clint Bruce, co-founded “Carry the Load” in 2011 with Stephen Holley when they noticed a disconnect between what Memorial Day originally meant and how it’s being observed today. Bruce said that everything really hit home with him when an older veteran asked him one day, “Who are you carrying?”
Their mission is to unite community members in a collective effort to remember and celebrate the sacrifice of American soldiers while fostering awareness and restoring reverence around the true meaning of patriotic service. Their aim is to celebrate America’s military heroes and to help “carry the load” of the men and women who gave America their last full measure of service.
Starting at 4:00 p.m. a Nashville born country/rock band led by Travis Jerome (music producer for Carry The Load) will be hitting the stage. Jerome has assembled together some of Nashville’s finest musicians from some of the biggest names in country music. This Nashville born band, “The Church Wardens” will put together an inspirational hour long concert, reflecting their rich passion for soldiers, those who have served, those who have fallen, and their families.
At 5:00 p.m. Travis and the “Church Wardens” will wrap things up and turn the microphone over to Coleman Ruiz, Executive Director of Carry The Load. Ruiz spent 12 years as a Navy SEAL which included 6 deployments to the Middle East. Ruiz will talk about the mission of “Carry The Load” and what it means to him to help returning military members and their families.
Following Ruiz, Bill Albracht will take the stage to tell us all about the rich history of military service that this country has. Albracht is a highly decorated Green Beret veteran who was wounded during combat in Vietnam.
Ruiz and Albracht will then team up to help Thomson’s very own Frank “Babe” Tipton hit the auction block. Tipton is a long time auctioneer and active community member. They will auction off wood-carving art done that day as well as two guitars autographed by country music icon Tim McGraw. Tim McGraw has sold over 40 million units and dominated the charts with 32 #1 hit singles.
All proceeds from the auction will go to the Carry The Load Foundation.
For more information, see this week’s Prairie Advocate for a complete schedule of events.
Fall Fun Returns with the 2nd Annual Melon Days Fall Festival
The Heirloom Market & Café will once again share the savory bite of a good (free) slice of watermelon and the energetic strains of live blue grass music with the citizens of Thomson as they usher in the fall season with their 2nd Annual Melon Days Festival, held on September 22 between 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (rain date on the following weekend). The festival will be located at 2200 Illinois Route 84 in Thomson.
“Last year’s festival was a rousing success, and this one promises to bring even more fun and entertainment for you and your family,” promises Bill Heid, owner of The Heirloom Market & Cafe. “We’re looking forward to having another opportunity to enjoy a great day with the community.”
The Melon Days Fall Festival will offer a wide variety of family fun including free cider samples, free watermelon samples, camel rides, train rides, a petting zoo, fire trucks, a magic show, a pumpkin maze, live music from six different local bands, fire trucks, and face paintings. Participants can also join in on a seed saving workshop, browse the area’s largest pumpkin selection and enter hourly prize drawings with a chance to win a plug-n-play solar back-up generator valued at $1,697.00. Kids will receive a free “mini-pumpkin.” Concessions will be available all day so that nobody walks away hungry.
Admissions are $5 per person and $10 per family, and the Heirloom Market & Café will be open all day during the festival. For more information contact Tony Belha at Tony@SolutionsFromScience.com, call 815-259-0168, or visit the website at www.TheHeirloomMarket.com.