Festivities for the Benedum Festival got underway on Thursday night, with the Benedum Fellow Awards dinner at the Bridgeport Conference Center. The event honors volunteers who have given back to their community.
The honorees were Les Filicsky and Dr. Mike Hess. Filicsky was chosen for his work with senior citizens, his church and for being a helpful neighbor.
Hess formed his own band which performed concerts for charity, called "Al Buterol and the Inhalers". He has also started a program to refurbish old musical instruments and provide them to school children who want to be in the band, but who might not be able to afford a new instrument. organizers say both men are very deserving of the award.
"They go above and beyond what is normally what you would expect of them. It's not their job, it's something they do because they love the community, they love the people and they love to help. Much in the spirit of Michael Benedum, who gave so much to our community," said Ruth Allen, Benedum Festival Awards Dinner chairman.
The festival is held in honor of Michael Late Benedum.