NWA gears up for Starlight Gala, Race for the Cure and more

event preview by Brittany Ransom
bransom@thecitywire.com

April is packed with big events including a hunt for 15,000 Easter Eggs, Komen's Race for the Cure, and a Starlight Gala featuring one of country music hottest duos, Thompson Square.

• Easter Egg Hunt and Carnival
More than 15,000 eggs will be up for the taking at the 10th annual Bella Vista Property Owner Association's Easter Egg Hunt on April 19.

The Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 10 a.m., with children ages 12 and under divided into age-appropriate groups. It will be held at Riordan Hall, located at 3 Riordan Drive in Bella Vista. Plastic eggs filled with candy and prizes will be hidden throughout the Kingsdale Complex.

The Easter Bunny will also make an appearance at the event. Parents are invited to take pictures of their children with the bunny from 10 to 10:45 a.m. A carnival with bean bag tosses, face painting, and other children's activities will follow the Easter Egg Hunt and conclude at noon. Free tickets to the carnival are required and are available on a first come, first serve basis. They can be picked up at Riordan Hall in Bella Vista.

Local businesses and organizations are encouraged to donate Easter baskets filled with goodies to be raffled off at the event. For more information or to donate a basket, call (479) 855-5073.

• Children's Advocacy Center Cherishing Children Glow Run
The Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County will host its 2014 Cherishing Children Glow Run on April 19. The family-friendly event will include activities for participants of all ages, including a 5K, one-mile fun run, 400-yard Superhero Dash, and much more.

Festivities will begin at the Frisco Stage in Rogers, located at 200 South First Street. Packet pick-up and registration will begin at 5 p.m. The Superhero Dash will start at 6:15 p.m., followed by the one-mile un walk at 6:45 p.m. The 5K Glow Run will begin at 7:45 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to "glow" from head to toe and to deck themselves out with face and body paint. Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall, the top three in each age category, and to the participants with the best "glow."

Live entertainment will be featured on the Frisco Main Stage starting at 5 p.m. The band Breaking Silence will perform. Food and snack vendors will be set-up, along with inflatables and other activities.

Registration is $25 for the 5K Run or one-mile fun run. Students, ages 18 and under, can participate for $15. Cost for the Superhero Run, open for kids 12 and under, is $10. Participants may register online. For more information, call 479-621-0385.

• Rogers Public Education Foundation Wall of Distinction Gala
The Rogers Public Education Foundation will host its annual Wall of Distinction Gala at the John Q. Hammons Center on April 24 at 7 p.m. The event will celebrate the induction of four new honorees onto the wall, as well as the work of the Foundation.

Wall of Distinction honorees will include Rogers school board member and U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Rogers. and three distinguished alumni – philanthropist Jan Buck, state and local leader Mary Lynn Reese, and retired teacher Bob Ross.

NWA attorney David Matthews will serve as the Master of Ceremonies, with special guest Dick Trammel hosting the "Dollars for Scholars" segment. Proceeds from the gala will "help the foundation continue its mission to promote and enhance the quality of education in the community by raising funds and distributing grants to teachers for additional materials or special classroom needs."

Tickets are $100 and may be purchased online. Current and retired Rogers teachers may buy tickets at a discounted rate of $75. For more information, call 479-636-7633.

• NWA Children's Shelter 2014 Starlight Gala
Award-winning country music duo Thompson Square will headline the 2014 Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter Starlight Gala on April 26.

The evening will include fine dining, drinks, auctions, and an intimate concert.  Doors will open at 6 p.m., at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. A special VIP reception and meet and greet session with Thompson Square will also be held for sponsors and special guests.

Guests will have the chance to bid on hundreds of items in both the silent and live auction. Several big-ticket prize packages will be up for grabs during the live auction bidding.

Individual tickets are $200, with some table and sponsorship opportunities still available. All proceeds support the NWA Children's Shelter, which provides "a safe haven, high quality care and hope for the future to children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected."

For more information, call 479-795-2417.

• Race for the Cure
Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall will transform into a sea of pink on April 26 as Komen Ozark hosts the 16th annual Race for the Cure.

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The event will include competitive 5K and 10K races, as well as several non-competitive activities. Festivities will kick off with a Survivor Breakfast beginning at 6:45 a.m. in the Food Pavilion. The 10K will start at 7:30 a.m., followed by official opening ceremonies at 7:45 a.m.

The competitive 5K and the Bark for the Cure will kick-off at 8 a.m., with the Survivor Parade at 8:05 a.m., and the non-competitive 5k at 8:30 a.m. A one-mile family fun walk will start at 9 a.m. Participants age five and under will also have the chance to run in the Kids' Dash at 10 a.m.

Both the 10K and 5K are chip-timed, with the courses being USATF certified. All 10K participants will receive a commemorative medal, with awards being presented to the top three place survivors, male and female participants. An awards presentation ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m.

Teams and individuals may register online. For more information, call Komen Ozark at 479-750-7465.

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