The Fall Fling kicked off on Sept. 11 underneath the stars and stripes of the largest American flag in Virginia. Event-goers experienced delicious barbeque,... First responders honored at Kiwanis’ Fall Fling
Attendees mingle at last week’s Fall Fling. (Ellie Browning)

The Fall Fling kicked off on Sept. 11 underneath the stars and stripes of the largest American flag in Virginia.

Event-goers experienced delicious barbeque, listened to music and got the opportunity to honor first responders. Representatives from the state police and Chesterfield County police, fire and EMS received a plaque to commemorate their efforts in keeping the public safe.

With the help from Dr. Joseph Hilliard and several sponsors, the Kiwanis Club planned the Sept. 11 event in about four months. It was the first Fall Fling since 2010. The club held Spring and Fall Flings for about 30 years until the event was discontinued.

Tom Sokol spoke about the effort it took to plan the event. He credited R.J. Smith for suggesting and allowing the use of Unity Park at 1800 Coxendale Road, on the southwest corner of Interstate 95 and Route 288.

“Finding the place was the biggest deal,” Sokol said. “The band was easy to find, Spectrum has been doing Kiwanis affairs for 40 years. Dickie King from King’s Korner has catered pretty much every event we ever done. So, it all fell into our lap once we found the place and had the theme. We just thought, ‘What better place to hold an event like this than underneath the largest flag in Virginia?’”

Local business owner and firefighter Harvey King attended the event with Fire Station No. 24’s antique engine.

“The turnout from this event is my favorite part,” King said. “We get to honor all of our brothers who were killed in 9/11.”

The Fall Fling had a large crowd.

“It’s just perfect,” Sokol said, noting there were around 500 in attendance on a hot evening. “Every dime that we make, 100 percent of it goes to local charities,” he said of the Kiwanis. “We keep nothing for administrative costs.”