It’s time to appreciate real heroes

In today’s world where we obsess over otherwordly superheroes and their feats of strengths and skill only made possible through imagination and computers, we often forget the real world heroes. First responders and soldiers, bravely dash into danger every day for the sake of others without the aid of invincibility, augmented strength or super speed. And, unlike their comic book and cinematic counterparts, these mortal men and women are rarely given credit for their bravery.

But Three Rivers has spent a decade trying to change that. This month began the community’s 10th annual Hero Appreciation Months. Now through March, active and veterans first responders and military will receive 20% off products and services throughout the community. For a full list of participating businesses, visit

The event officially kicked off with the Family Friendly Event with a Snowman Contest on Jan. 16 at the Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park. The first of three hero celebration events will begin this Friday, Jan. 29 at the Three Rivers Historical Museum where the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of Commerce will recognize firefighters and paramedics. Since 2009, each group of heroes has reveived their own month. The Chamber will honor law enforcement and peace officers at an event on Feb. 26 and members of the Armed Forces on March 25. All events begin at 7 p.m. and are held at the historical museum, 42268 Sierra Drive in Three Rivers.

Hero Appreciation Months also include free square dancing classes for all ages every Thursday night in February at the Three Rivers Art Center, 41763 North Fork Dr. in Three Rivers. The appreciation months will conclude on March 26 with the 7th annual Family Picnic and Bathtub Race. Come watch teams of families paddle their iron bathtubs turned boats across a shallow lagoon near the Kaweah Recreation Area at Lake Kaweah. The $4 per vehicle Day Use Fee will be waived for those participating in the event.

For information, call Leah Catherine Launey, event organizer, at 559-561-4270 or email her at [email protected]

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