116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival is pleased to announce the 2022 Heroes: Willie Ray Fairley, Robert Feiereisen and Bridgette Williams-Robinson.
Each year, heroes are selected through a community nomination process and the Freedom Festival board of directors. Below is a short highlight on each of the heroes. Heroes will be honored at the Tribute to Heroes Dinner and act as parade marshals in the Freedom Festival parade, June 25.
Fairley is widely known for his generosity after the derecho. Here is a quote from his nomination: “Willie Ray Fairley is not only a hero in Cedar Rapids, but he is making a name across the country as a good Samaritan. After the Derecho, Willie Ray rolled up his sleeves and brought his BBQ to those in need. He continues to provide food for those affected by natural disasters.”
Feiereisen is well-known throughout the veteran community for his commitment to helping others. Here is a quote from his nomination: “Bob is currently involved in the veteran community as a post commander, 40&8 member, 40&8 secretary, and member of Cedar Rapids Metro Council. He is also known for his creation of the Flags for First Graders program and has handed out over 1500 Mini American Flags.”
Many people know Bridge Under the Bridge for their work after the derecho. Williams-Robinson and her husband, Jovountae Robinson, have continued to serve the community by offering free meals daily. Here is a quote from Williams-Robinson’s nomination, which addresses both of them: “They are the true spirit of that is good of a person. No matter poverty, race, or conditions unknown, they open their arms and hearts to those in need and give them an outlet for even a moment or a meal, to feel good.”
The Tribute to Heroes Dinner will be held on June 17 at the Kirkwood Hotel, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. Cocktail hour and silent auction opens at 6 p.m. with the program beginning at 7 p.m., featuring University of Iowa Women’s Wrestling Head Coach, Clarissa Chun.
Tickets are $55 per person or $500 for a table of 10. For more information, or to purchase tickets go to https://www.freedomfestival.com/tribute-to-heroes-tickets/. Deadline for purchasing tickets is June 10. Questions? Contact Faith Northland at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 365-8313.