The Duncan Banner

September 9, 2013

Luncheon to honor heroes

Rebeka Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — It’s back to basics for the 12th annual Heroes Luncheon, celebrating military and first responders.

The luncheon was organized by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce after the events of 9-11. Its purpose is to honor those active in or retired from the U.S. military, local police, fire departments, and medical first responders. This year, it is scheduled for noon Wednesday, Sept. 11, in the Simmons Center.

“We wanted to revamp the program a bit,” said Sandy Stewart, director of investor services for the Chamber. “We’ve made a few changes.”

Stewart said they want the main focus on those who would, on any given day, put their lives on the line for any other citizen. Though there is entertainment and a keynote speaker like in the past, an additional aspect has been added for this year.

“The police, sheriff and fire departments will each be presenting an award to one of their own,” Stewart said. “They come up with their own criteria and are voted on by their peers.”

Keynote speaker for the event is Brigadier General Gregory Ferguson, assistant adjutant general and commander for the Oklahoma Air National Guard. Ferguson is the principal advisor to the adjutant general for all Oklahoma Air National Guard matters and is responsible for the combat readiness and operational effectiveness for all OANG units.

The National Anthem will be sung by Lt. Rick Lane. Gabriel Amaya and Russell Hulme will perform a special song as entertainment and Russ Stewart will close the event with song.

“We’ve also added door prizes this year,” said Stewart. “They are only open to the heroes.”

Firearms Solutions have donated a gun and Sen. Don Barrington donated tickets to the Oklahoma State University versus Lamar University.

So far, the Chamber has 20 table sponsors, both half and full. Lunch is provided through these table sponsors and Stewart said they are always looking for more. Many sponsors donate their seats to heroes. To become a table sponsor, call the Chamber at 580-255-3644.

“Last year, about 160 people attended,” Stewart said.

“We’re hoping to far exceed that this year and build from what happens.  This event should be bursting from the seams because we should really honor these individuals every day.”

The Duncan Chamber of Commerce is still taking reservations for the event until 4 p.m. Monday. Lunch is free for all heroes but reservations are required. Call the Chamber at 580-255-3644 to make your reservation.