The Ultimate Grill-Fest 2015 heats up June 5 in Searcy

Local financial organizations are joining forces to raise money for a good cause by sponsoring The Ultimate Grill-Fest: Hamburgers for Homelessness from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 5, at Berryhill Park in Searcy.

Proceeds will benefit Jacob’s Place Homeless Mission, which provides housing and support for White County families in need.

Participating financial organizations include Bank of Augusta, Centennial Bank, Edward Jones, First Community Bank, First Security Bank, Simmons First Bank, Southern Bank and White County Federal Credit Union.

“We were thrilled to have a huge response from our local financial institutions and the community last year for our first-ever Grill-Fest,” said Jacob’s Place Board President Mat Faulkner. “This year, we will have more bands perform, plus we are adding more activities for kids to enjoy including face painting, balloon animals, bounce houses, a water slide, dunking booth and the fire safety house from the Searcy Fire Department.”

The financial organization that sells the most tickets will win the “Grill-Off Champion” trophy. First Security Bank won the inaugural Golden Grill trophy for highest ticket sales last year.

“Several sponsors have grills they will set up to grill hamburgers the day of the event,” Faulkner added. “People are welcome to come and grab lunch to take back to the office, or bring the whole family, we invite our fellow community members to buy tickets to join us for a fun and entertaining lunch break.”

Matt LaForce with First Security Bank and Keith Riley with First Community Bank grill burgers at the Ultimate Grill Fest 2014.

According to Faulkner, the Ultimate Grill-Fest is a community-wide effort with support from the City of Searcy and local businesses. Ridout Lumber and Edward Jones are new sponsors of the event this year. The Searcy Parks and Recreation Department is handling logistics for the event at Berryhill Park, while In Any Event is providing bounce houses. Yarnell’s is donating ice cream. Also, First Assembly of God is sponsoring the music portion of the event.

The suggested minimum donation for a ticket is $5, which includes a hamburger, chips, a drink and ice cream. Also, armbands will be available for $5, which will allow children unlimited access to all of the children’s activities.

Tickets are available for purchase at Bank of Augusta, Centennial Bank, Edward Jones, First Community Bank, First Security Bank, Simmons First Bank, Southern Bank and the White County Federal Credit Union. Tickets will also be available at the park the day of the event.

For more information about the Ultimate Grill-Fest: Hamburgers for Homelessness, please call 501.268.1771.

Jacob’s Place has helped 144 families, including 193 children, since it opened in 2008. Fundraisers support the operating expenses of the organization, which empowers homeless families in White County by providing temporary housing, as well as financial, spiritual, emotional and job counseling.