First Assembly of God Church in Van Buren will honor law enforcement, firefighters and all emergency responders with its first Burgers and Badges grill out on Thursday, June 30.
Church members will provide fresh grilled, custom-made hamburgers with chips and a drink all free of charge to those who wear a badge as part of their job.
Children’s Pastor John Mankins organized the event as part of the church’s Kidz Klub children’s ministry. Church staff will be manning the grill while the children take orders and deliver food, Mankins said.
"The intent is to honor anyone who serves and protects in our community," Mankins said. "We want them to come and let someone cater to them … and return the service they give to us."
"Anyone who wears a badge" is invited, whether on duty or off duty, Mankins said.
Mankins had the idea after another local church held an honor banquet for law officers, he said.
"It was such a great idea, that we adopted and tweaked it and are going to roll it out for our community," Mankins said.
Burgers and Badges will be set up in the First Assembly parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the kids will be providing car-side service, Mankins said.
Kids will act as carhops, providing menus and taking orders for grilled burgers at the guests’ car. Each order will be custom made and packaged by church staff, and delivered car-side by the kids.
"We want them to come by and get a fresh grilled burger that day rather than having to eat fast food or pay for their meal," Mankins said.
There will also be tables and seats for those who prefer to eat on site rather than in their car, he said.
"This is our way of saying that the people who work to protect us are thought of today and honored today - we just want to tip our hat and bless them," Mankins said.