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Hometown Days events stretch out over three days
Tennis, prayer breakfast & fun in the park on weekend schedule
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

August 01. 2013 10:34AM
Brandon’s sixth annual Hometown Days celebration kicks off Thursday evening with an adult-junior doubles tennis tournament and concludes Saturday night in McHardy Park with a movie under the stars.
The Brandon Tennis Association starts the three-day celebration with an adult-junior doubles tourney. The event, which is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, will be held at the Brandon Valley Tennis Complex near the middle school.
There’s a $15 per team entry fee, and teams should register by noon today (July 31) by emailing or calling (605) 359-6677.
Prayer Breakfast
The Brandon Area Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the Brandon Valley Ministerial Association, gets underway at 7 a.m. Friday in the Brandon Valley High School Commons.
The Prayer Breakfast, now in its fifth year, has continued to show increased attendance each year. Committee member Paul VanDeBerg said the breakfast, which was first held at Brandon Lutheran Church, had 180 in attendance the first year, and 225 in 2011. That’s when the breakfast was moved to the high school commons, which can accommodate up to 400.
“It’s really grown and it’s great to see the community embrace that,” VanDeBerg said.
This year’s guest speaker is Brandon chiropractor and two-time author, Dr. David Ward.
Ward has written and published two books, “A Life Almost Wasted” in 2011, and “The Heart of Our Savior” in 2012. Both books are testaments to Ward’s deep faith, which was instilled in him as a young boy contemplating suicide in the mid-1970s. His father’s unexpected death and ongoing bullying led him to the decision before Christ intervened, stopping him from climbing to the top of a tower where he planned to end his life that day.
“A Life Almost Wasted” is “… not only about suicide. It’s a message of overcoming depression, bullying, bulimia or drug and alcohol addiction and how Jesus Christ can help breathe life back in you in any given situation,” Ward said of the book’s message.
Ward’s second book, “The Heart of Our Savior,” is a collection of short stories, visions and dreams he had over a year that were implanted in him by the Holy Spirit.
“After I wrote my first book, I thought that would be the extent of my writing career, but then all these things started being revealed to me,” Ward said.
Wad wrote the majority of his second book when most people were sleeping.
“The Holy Spirit woke me up at 2:30 every morning and would reveal a short story to me. The Holy Spirit would make sure the story was complete before I went back to sleep.”
Tickets are still available for the Prayer Breakfast and can be purchased from committee members Paul VanDeBerg – 582-6311; Nelva Bose – 582-2311; Carla Gross at 582-6902; or Nelva Bose. Tickets are $10 per person or $75 for a table of eight. Students (high school or younger) who attend the breakfast will be admitted free, as local sponsors are covering that cost.
The Prayer Breakfast committee is once again organizing the Brandon Valley School Supply Drive. These items can be brought to the breakfast or dropped off at any Brandon Valley school. Collection boxes are also in place at participating Brandon Valley churches and businesses.
“The demand and the need is definitely there,” VanDeBerg said.
Bose said there also will be an offering taken for the Ministerial Association at the breakfast.
“They’re in deep need of money,” she said. “They use the money for people who come into the community needing food or gas.”
Saturday in the Park
The fun of Hometown days moves to McHardy Park Saturday afternoon, with several of the activities getting underway at 3 p.m.
A Children’s Book Walk, staged by the Brandon Branch of Siouxland Libraries, will wrap up its summer reading program at McHardy Park from 3 p.m. to dark. That’s when families are invited to follow the pages of “I Went Walking” by Sue Williams as they enter the park.
The Children’s Book Walk is part of the library’s summer reading club, “Dig into Reading.” Preschoolers and elementary school-aged children have been earning prizes by keeping track of the time they spent reading this summer. And outstanding reading logs may be turned in at the Siouxland Libraries table on Saturday.
From 3 p.m. to dark, kids will can burn up energy on the free inflatable midway, have fun on the paddle boats, train rides, games of laser tag and pony rides. All of the events are sponsored by local businesses and organizations.
New to Saturday in the Park this year is a free photo booth, which opens at 4 p.m. And at 4:30 p.m., kids can take part in the Kid’s Pedal Pull.
The First National Bank Entertainment Stage brings a variety of fun to McHardy Park. Among the planned entertainment is the Jessee Moffett Magic Show and Hypnotist, Nature Adventures Live, Tregglusisons, a Zebra show, and a concert by ORYX, a 1980s rock tribute band.
The Brandon Edge is also staging their annual duck race. At 6 p.m., hundreds of colorful ducks will be poured into the Split Rock Creek. The lucky buyer of the first duck to cross the finish line will win the $500 cash prize.
Duck race tickets, which are $5 each, can be purchased by calling 582-1985.
Saturday in the Park wraps up with a movie under the stars. “Rise of the Guardians” will be on the big screen starting at 9:15 p.m., compliments of the Brandon Community Foundation.
Brandon Hometown Days 2013 Schedule of Events
6-9 p.m.: Brandon Hometown Days Adult-Junior Tennis Tournament, BV Community Tennis Complex

7 a.m.: Brandon Area Prayer Breakfast, BVHS Commons

3 p.m. to dark: Free inflatable – Sanford Health, Brandon Edge, Brandon Ace Rentals
3 p.m. to dark: Free paddle boat rides – Alliance Communications
3 p.m. to dark: Free train rides – Midwest Railcar
3 p.m. to dark: Free laser tag course – Pace Manufacturing
3 p.m. to dark: Free mobile game trailer –
3 p.m. to dark: Free book walk – Siouxland Libraries, Brandon Community Library
4 p.m. to dark: Free photo booth –
4 p.m.: Sign-up for kids pedal pull
4:30 p.m.: Kids pedal pull – Eastern Farmer’s Co-op
First National Bank Stage
3:45 p.m.: Jessee Moffett Magic Show & Hypnotist – Sioux Valley Energy
4:15 p.m.: Nature Adventures Live – Horizon Pet Care
4:45 p.m.: Tregglusions – Marv’s Sanitary Service
5:15 p.m.: Jessee Moffett Magic Show & Hypnotist – Concrete Materials
6 p.m.: Brandon Edge Duck Race - $500 grand prize
6:30 p.m.: Zebra Show – Hardscapes Outlet
6:30 p.m. ORYX – Sunny Radio, First National Bank
9:15 p.m.: Free movie, “Rise of the Guardians - Brandon Community Foundation

Alex Kane was all smiles as he paddled his way around the Power Paddler Lagoon Water Park at Brandon Hometown Days celebration last year. Challenger file photo

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