ArtsQuest and Embassy Bank to Honor Local First Responders with Patriot Day Banner and Ceremony

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(Featured image provided by ArtsQuest) 2018 (C) Kj Huylebroeck Memorial 5-28-2018

Community members encouraged to submit photos for 2024 ‘Our Hometown Heroes – First Responders’ Banner Display

Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley, PA, June 27, 2024 – ArtsQuest is seeking photos from the community for its annual “Our Hometown Heroes – First Responders” banner presented by Embassy Bank. The banner will debut at the Patriot Day Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, honoring first responders, including police and law enforcement officials, firefighters and volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel and paramedics, who currently serve or have served our community. Submissions will be accepted from July 1 through July 31, 2024.

The celebration will also include a ceremony, presenting Officer Ra’Von Burtons with ArtsQuest’s 2024 First Responder Valor Award at the Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks. This award is presented to a City of Bethlehem First Responder for their service to the community.

Officer Burton is a Lehigh Valley native, attending Catasauqua High School where he played football, basketball and participated in track. Officer Burton is a Moravian University graduate. He first gained interest in becoming an officer as a child when Allentown Police helped rescue him from a flooding after Jordan Creek in Allentown had overflowed. He has always had a strong sense of community and feels that it is one of the most important aspects of keeping neighborhoods safe. In 2019, Burton went viral after a video of him playing backyard baseball with Lehigh University students was uploaded online. Since then, he has been a large part of Bethlehem Police Departments community outreach programs which include visiting various schools in the area to educate as well as leading egg drop experiments with the students. In 2021, Burton joined the k-9 unit where he became partners with Bean, a German Shorthaired Pointer, where they specialize in explosive detection, tracking lost individuals and community engagement. After being a part of Bethlehem Police for six years this upcoming September, Officer Burton has plans to continue growing the relationship between police and the community with the hopes of one day becoming Chief of Police.

Since 2016, ArtsQuest and Embassy Bank have honored local first responders with the banner display, and we’re grateful to continue the tradition this year,” said Kyle Ring, ArtsQuest Operations Specialist. “It’s a great opportunity to recognize first responders for their bravery and selflessness and to showcase the individuals who serve our community each day.”

Following the ceremony, guests are invited to stay for the final show of the 2024 Levitt Pavilion free concert series with a performance by The Aardvarks. Performing for over ten years, the ‘Varks have become the premier rock band of the Lehigh Valley, mixing time periods and styles of covers and original music into their non-stop, high-energy sets.

Photos of family members, neighbors and friends who are first responders can be uploaded using this form. Images must be high-resolution jpeg, tiff, bitmap or PDF file. Color and B&W photos are accepted. Those participating are asked to share their contact information, the first responder’s name, hometown, job title and department.

Photos from previous years will also be on display (although changes cannot be made to information on existing photos).

Hard copies will be accepted at all Embassy Bank locations or at the Banana Factory, 25 W. 3rd St. in Bethlehem. All hard copies will be returned promptly to the location in which they were received.

About ArtsQuest
ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities. ArtsQuest™ supports this mission via the presentation of performing and visual arts, film, arts education classes and outreach, youth programming and cultural events. Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; the Banana Factory Arts Center; and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.9 million people annually. The organization’s programs and events, of which over 50% are free to attend, have a combined economic impact of more than $136 million annually in the region.


Information provided to TVL by:
Bryn Keeney