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BRANSON, Mo., February 21, 2014 — For the sixth straight year, America’s Purple Heart Recipients will be hosted and honored in Branson during Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients being held in Branson April 24th through the 26th. The sole purpose of the event is to specifically remember and honor the sacrifices of those who have been wounded in combat while defending our country and have received the Purple Heart as a result of that service. It is the only event of its type and is recognized and supported by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a unique congressionally chartered Veteran Service Organization dedicated to serving those who have received the Purple Heart Medal as the result of the sacrifices they have made in the defense of their country.
“We are especially honored this year to be partnering with the College of the Ozarks on the first day of the event,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing, Branson Tourism Center, the parent company of Branson.Com. “It just seems like a perfect fit with the College’s values, patriotism and faithfulness in the remembering and honoring of our country’s Veterans representing so much of what the Recipients of the Purple Heart fought for,” she added. Woods encourages all Purple Heart Recipients to attend the event particularly those who have never attended before. “It is a special event, held for some very special people in a place and by people who honor and respect the sacrifices that Purple Heart Recipients and their families have made,” said Wood.
Wood points out all the event’s scheduled activities are free to the Purple Heart Recipients. From the opening ceremony at the college, hosted by Barbara Fairchild, to the closing ceremony at the Hamner Theatre hosted by Dave Hamner, Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients will honor and entertain the attendees while giving them plenty of free time to relax, enjoy camaraderie and fellowship with their fellow Recipients, shop and just experience all that Branson has to offer. Although subject to change, the schedule for the event includes:
DAY 1 – April 24th, 2014
Hospitality Room opens at 8:00 a.m. (0800) and will remain open until 10:00 p.m. (2200)
Check-In & Registration: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. (0800 – 2130) Check-In at Branson Tourism Center (220 Branson Hills Parkway). At this time attendees will receive their Welcome Packets and can pick up their pre-booked lodging and show reservations. The Welcome Packet will include a map, printed itinerary of events, lanyard, and much more.
Ralph Foster Museum: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (0900 – 1430) at the College of the Ozarks (100 Opportunity Avenue, Point Lookout). After check in, all Purple Heart Recipients and guest(s) are invited to tour the College of the Ozarks. You will be given complimentary admission to the Ralph Foster Museum, referred to as the “Smithsonian of the Ozarks” and one of the Midwest’s foremost institutions of historical preservation.
Opening Ceremony: 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (1500 – 1630) at the Keeter Center at the College of the Ozarks (100 Opportunity Avenue, Point Lookout). In 2014, the Opening Ceremony will be held at the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks. The ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. (1500) and will include special presentations by the College of the Ozarks faculty members and students as well as special guest appearances.
Welcome Dinner: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (1700 – 1830) at the Keeter Center at the College of the Ozarks (100 Opportunity Avenue, Point Lookout). Directly following the Opening Ceremony, there will be a Welcome Dinner. Dinner is complimentary for all Purple Heart Recipients. Guests will be charged $18.00 per person. The menu will be posted at a later date.
After dinner, the remainder of the evening will be “free time” for all in attendance. The Hospitality Room at the Grand Plaza will remain open until 10:00 p.m. (2200)
DAY 2 – April 25th, 2014
Hospitality Room opens at 7:00 a.m. (0700)
Meet and Greet with Branson Entertainer: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. (0830 – 0900) in the Hospitality Room
Fishing Tournament: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (1000 – 1400) – Scotty’s Trout Dock (400 Boxcar Willie Drive). Fishermen will once again head out on Lake Taneycomo in pontoon boats provided by Scotty’s Trout Dock. All fishing equipment will be provided and all fishing licenses will be waived for Purple Heart Recipients. Lunch will be available at The Paddlewheel located at Main Street Marina on Lake Taneycomo. Please present your Purple Heart Event lanyard and receive 50% off your purchase of food and beverages. (Lanyards will be handed out with your Welcome Packet.)
Culinary Demonstration: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (1000 – 1200) at Main Street Lake Cruises (7 N. Boardwalk, Branson Landing). For those not interested in fishing, Main Street Lake Cruises, located at Main Street Marina on Branson Landing, will be hosting culinary demonstrations presented by Chef Eric. There will also be an opportunity for shopping on the Landing.
Lunch will be available at The Paddlewheel, also located at Main Street Marina. Please present your Purple Heart Event lanyard and receive 50% off your purchase of food and beverages. (Lanyards will be handed out with your Welcome Packet.)
Fishing Tournament Weigh-In: 2:10 p.m. (1410) at Scotty’s Trout Dock (400 Boxcar Willie Drive). The fishing tournament weigh-in will begin at 2:10 p.m. (1410) at Scotty’s Trout Dock. Prizes will be given for 1st through 5th place as well as a prize for Big Fish.
Guest Speakers: 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. (1600 – 1715) at the Grand Plaza Hotel (245 N. Wildwood Drive). In the past, we have offered large group discussions with a special guest speaker in a theater setting. This year we will offer two seminars, which will be located at Grand Plaza in a meeting room, to allow for smaller group discussions which are scheduled as follows:
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (1600 – 1630) – Jimmy Young, Chaplain (Colonel), US Army, Ret. On the topic of “A Band of Blood Brothers and Sisters”
4:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. (1645 – 1715) – Clayton Jones, Staff Sgt. E-6, US Army, Ret., on the topic of “The origin of the Purple Heart, what it means, and the VA benefits that go with it.”
Dinner: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (1800 – 1930) at Grand Plaza (245 N. Wildwood Drive). Dinner will begin at the Grand Plaza at 6:00 p.m. (1800) Dinner is complimentary for all Purple Heart Recipients. Guests will be charged $15.00 per person. The menu will be posted at a later date.
DAY 3 – April 26th, 2014
Hospitality Room opens at 7:00 a.m. (0700)
Meet and Greet with Branson Entertainer: 9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. (0915 – 0945)
Group Discussion & Feedback: 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (1000 – 1030) at the Grand Plaza (245 N. Wildwood Drive).
Closing Ceremony: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (1200 – 1400) at Hamner Variety Theater (3090 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway). Closing Ceremony will once again be held at the Hamner Variety Theater. The first half hour of the ceremony will be a Saturday Morning Service with Dave Hamner.
Patsy Cline Remembered – All Purple Heart Recipients and guests are invited, free of charge, to stay for the 3:00 p.m. (1500) show “Patsy Cline Remembered” featuring C.J. Newsom at the Hamner Variety Theater (3090 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway).
For the first time the event will have a “Host Hotel,” the Grand Plaza, with a Hospitality Room that will be available throughout the course of the event and is open to all attendees whether or not they choose to stay at the Grand Plaza. Also, rather than one two hour show, in an effort to provide a more up close and personal experience for attendees, Branson entertainers will be participating at various times throughout the event including the opening and closing ceremonies, the two dinners, individual Meet and Greets in the Hospitality Room and, perhaps, a couple of other surprises.
Branson Tourism Center’s Wood encourages pre-registration at the Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients website especially if lodging accommodations at the host hotel are desired. Upon completion of online registration, a “Purple Heart Event Specialist” will contact registrants regarding exclusive Purple Heart Recipient lodging, show, attractions and Branson activity opportunities. For additional information on Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients please call 1-800-268-4014.