|Terry Fator and one of his buddies.|
A Celebration of Heroes event to celebrate the mining communities in Carbon and Emery counties will be held Sept. 15 at Canyon View Junior High School in Huntington.
"It's important for families and the community to have a time to reflect on and give tribute to the heroic miners, the rescuers and the families affected by this terrible tragedy," Gov. Huntsman said. "But we also must come together to rise above the challenges. In times like these we must celebrate the heroes."
Country music artist Collin Raye will headline the event and former Utah Jazz player Karl Malone will be part of the program.
Huntington resident Gary Arrington will chair the event. "This event is to celebrate all of the heroes in the recent disaster," he said. "There are a lot of people who went above and beyond the call of duty; law enforcement, EMTs, neighbors and friends, people who provided food. This is a celebration of community. We want everyone to come out and just have a great time. We need this uplifting event after all our community has been through this past month."
Arrington is being assisted by Shannon Hiatt, who is the director of the Emery County Recreation District, and Huntington Mayor Hilary Gordon as well as many other volunteers.
"The families of the missing miners and all of the mine rescuers have endured so much heartache and pain while the rest of Utah and the nation have grieved for the same losses from a distance," Gov. Huntsman said. "All of the people in Utah have felt drawn to the families during the past three weeks. I hope we can use this and other upcoming events as a time to reflect both on the heroes among us and those lost."
Tickets will not be required, but donations will be accepted and appreciated. On site concessions will be available throughout the day and evening. The event will begin at 3 p.m. with the popular Utah group Joshua Creek on stage. Also performing will be aspiring country performer Melissa Jones. Two time Grammy award winner, Rebecca Lynn Howard will perform on stage that evening. Carmen Rasmussen, Utah's favorite American Idol finalist will also participate in the event.
At 6 p.m. Bernie Faulkner an original member of the rock group Exile and now on the board of directors for the Fallen Coal Miners Education Fund will sing a special song. Other events of the day will be a world class free-style motorcycle exhibition and the evening finale will be fireworks by Lantis.
Collin Raye will be on stage performing at approximately 8:30 p.m. Collin has had 15 number one songs and 25 songs in the top ten. Karl Malone will also be making appearances throughout the day.
An auction will be held with donated items at approximately 7 p.m. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is donating a big game hunt to be auctioned off. Quilts will be part of the raffle as well as Loretta Lynn, the original coal miners daughter, items. Jazz items, signed by Karl Malone will be part of the auction. After headliner Collin Raye, an Emery County favorite, Charley Jenkins and the Haywire Band will perform, Hero at Home.
A late addition to the show will include Terry Fator, who just won the America's Got Talent competition on television three weeks ago. He will be performing at 4:30 p.m. Fator impersonates personalities such as Elvis, Cher, Dean Martin, Michael Jackson and many others. He is also a ventriloquist and his skills along with his many puppets are a very entertaining show.