After last year's expectation-shattering turn out, Heroes of Midlothian Foundation members are hoping this year's Oktoberfest is a repeat hit.
Heroes of Midlothian is a non-profit foundation that helps the families of police officers, firefighters and military service members in times of need. Even though last year was the foundation's first time holding the Oktoberfest, the community helped them raise enough money to start a scholarship program for Midlothian ISD graduates pursuing higher education.
“Last year we were so pleasantly surprised at the turnout,” said Bryan Rury, an organizer for Oktoberfest. “We had planned for about 1,500 people, but we had well over 3,000.”
The event will be from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Midlothian Conference Center and the whole family is invited.
This year's festival, sponsored by Holcim, will include many of the same attractions as last year, minus the silent auction, Rury said. But the mechanical bull, carnival games, food and beer will be back.
“We want to get the community involved with the police and fire departments. The goal was always to help but with all the recent stuff going on in the country, we wanted to get everyone together to have a good time,” he said.
Admission to the event is free. Tickets for games, food and beverages will be sold at the event. Raffle tickets will also be available. Raffle prizes include a custom built AR-15 signed by Taya Kyle, wife of American Snipper Chris Kyle, a seven-day junior penthouse stay in Costa Rica, a 50-inch Smart TV and a Yeti cooler.
All the money raised through raffle tickets will support the scholarship and ticket sales will support the everyday mission of Heroes of Midlothian, assisting families in need.
“We haven’t set any goals because our goal is to get the word out about our fire, police and service members and that Heroes of Midlothian is there to help them in their time of need. We have had an increase of people calling us and asking us to help others. But there are still police and firemen who needed help and we didn't find out until too late,” Rury said.
When the foundation is alerted to a first responders family who is facing a difficult time or needs some assistance, members first talk with the family to find out the best way to help them, either with monetary donations to purchase needed items, arranging for volunteers or local businesses to provide services or complete a project or whatever best fits the situation, he said.
“It's not always a monetary donation. We have people and local businesses who are willing to help out and volunteer to do things at a discount.”
Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BethanyKurtzMidloMirror or on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.