Olivia Calderon

Olivia Calderon auditions for “America’s Got Talent.”

CASA GRANDE — A Bands, Burritos and Beer fundraiser set for April 4 aims to raise money for renovations to a planned Honoring/Hiring/Helping our Heroes of Pinal County veterans transition center.

The fundraiser will include entertainment by the band Mogollon as the headliner. Other entertainers are GuitarSlinger and “America’s Got Talent” contestant Olivia Calderon.

The fundraiser has been planned for nearly a year, said Kim Vandenberg, director of HOHP.

“We are doing a fundraiser in collaboration with Eva’s Fine Mexican Food,” she said. “This is the first time we have tried something like this. We have been kicking around and planning with Fernando (Cornejo) and Casey from Eva’s for a year now. It’s amazing that Eva’s stepped in and said they would like to help us with an event that will benefit the HOHP Pinal County Veterans Transition Center — knowing we would need funds for the renovation of the building. Both Fernando and Casey have been to the facility and have been very supportive of the project.”

The Bands, Burritos and Beer fundraiser will also raise awareness about HOHP and what it does for vets in the community, she said.

Last year, HOHP signed a lease for its new veterans transition center at 5497 W. McCartney Road and began renovations to the property. About $150,000 is needed for renovations.

“There will be other fundraisers, grants and donations that will help us get there. We have already had some money donated toward the project,” Vandenberg said. “It’s quite amazing.”

When complete, the building will be used to help veterans in different phases of their lives.

“The event will kick-start us on the funds needed for renovation and hopefully draw more interest as far as sponsors in the area that would like to help us accomplish this very important mission for Pinal County veterans. Our goal is to open the doors fall of this year,” Vandenberg said.

As well as food and entertainment, the fundraiser includes raffles and auctions for prizes including:

  • Autographed Cardinals football
  • Autographed Cowboys hats
  • Odysea Aquarium tickets
  • Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch tickets
  • Bearizona tickets
  • UltraStar Family Pack
  • WestWorld Paintball Fun Pack
  • Wildlife World Zoo admissions
  • Mini Time Machine Museum

Among the event sponsors are Albertsons Companies Foundation, Mr. and Mrs Bob Roberts and Harrah’s.

The fundraiser is from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, at Eva’s in Casa Grande. Tickets are $10 each and will be available at the door.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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