Hometown Heroes Bash returns Saturday to honor area first responders

May 16, 2024 | 12:14 am

Updated May 16, 2024 | 12:51 am

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The Hometown Heroes Bash, an event to honor area first responders, returns to Owensboro this Saturday. The event is designed to give first responders a night of fun with raffles, auctions, and time to unwind.

The nonprofit Defending Heroes Project hosts the event, which will be held at the Owensboro Convention Center. Organizer Joseph Whitledge said he is glad to bring the event back to Owensboro.

Whitledge said they sold out of tickets to last year’s event and are close to doing so again this year. A single ticket costs $85, and a table of eight costs $640. Those interested can email Whitledge at
[email protected] to purchase tickets.

This year’s bash will include a live auction featuring a week’s stay in Panama City Beach, collector’s bourbon, memorabilia, and other items. In addition, the guest speaker will discuss battling mental health, alcoholism, and PTSD in his own life.

Whitledge lives and works in Henderson and said the event is not just for Daviess County or Henderson County first responders.

The Defending Heroes Project is dedicated to protecting first responders in the area while they respond to traumatic times and tragedies — whether those arise professionally or personally. A large focus is put on mental health practices and ensuring first responders find effective coping methods.

Regardless of the struggle someone faces, Whitledge said the nonprofit tries to support itself financially through fundraisers and event sponsorships.

“We’ve helped officers and children that were battling cancer, officers getting joint replacements and having to take off work, and helped cover some expenses … So it’s cool to be able to be a part of that, and it’s thanks to the sponsors and supporters at the event here that step up and help make sure that happens,” Whitledge said.

He said without the lateral support from members and the community, the Defending Heroes Project would be unable to continue its mission of providing a space for first responders to connect with meaningful relationships.

“Just to see that happen, I feel human again,” Whitledge said. “It’s just an awesome feeling that we’re able to do that and then to see how much they’re willing to help out.”

May 16, 2024 | 12:14 am

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