Fritz’s Adventure to purchase $30,000 of
gift cards in 2022 from area restaurants

By Tim Church
tchurch@bransontrilakesnews.com

Fritz’s Adventure is reinvesting back into the Branson community with the purchase of more than $30,000 of gift cards to area restaurants and eateries.
Fritz’s Supports Local was launched earlier this year. Fritz’s Adventure Chief Marketing Officer John Vaughn shared this initiative was created to give back to the community following the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We wanted to be able to support local restaurants and eateries. With the pandemic, that industry, like many, has been hit really hard. So we said, ‘What can we do that offers value to local restaurants and eateries, while also offering value to our guests? Allowing us to create surprise and delight moments for our guests,’” Vaughn said. “We got together and said, ‘Let’s do Fritz’s Supports Local. Throughout the year from early spring break through the end of the year, let’s purchase $30,000 of gift cards to these local restaurants and eateries, distribute them to our guests randomly throughout the year.’” With the purchase of these gift cards, Vaughn explained how by giving out free gift cards to their guests they’re creating even more opportunities for area restaurants and eateries. “Our guests enjoy it because they
get free value. They get to go to Gettin’ Basted or they get to go to Parlor Doughnuts or to Hurt’s Donuts or Fuddruckers and there’s lots more partners
that we work with. So they get sort of a meal on us if you will. The restaurant appreciates it, because not only do we buy the gift cards at full value from the restaurant, but they also get the benefit of the individual bringing his or her family,” Vaughn said. “Most often you’ve got mom and dad and then a couple of kids, so we’re taking care of one meal for the family and then they’ll purchase additional meals from the restaurant. I feel like it’s a win for everybody. It’s certainly a win for the local restaurants, it’s a win for our guests and because we’re able to take care of our guests and support our community, it’s a win for us as well.” Additional Branson eateries who have partnered with Fritz’s for this promotion include: Table Rock Coffee Roasters,
Scooter’s Sports Grill, Mr. G’s Chicago Pizza & Pub, Sugar Leaf Bakery, Expresso Branson, Big D’s BBQ, Local Flavor, Danna’s BBQ, Rocco’s New York Style
Pizza and Pickin’ Porch Grill. “I was very surprised that another company would do that for a local business,” Hugo Buentello with Sweet Susie’s Frozen Treats said. “We believe it’s going to open doors for everybody. Branson is a small community and we should all be working together to make people happy and make them have a wonderful experience in Branson. As far as guests receiving a gift card during their next visit to Fritz’s Adventure, Vaughn shared it’s totally random. “We want to create surprise and delight moments. We do promote that we do this, but obviously we can’t take care
of every single guest,” Vaughn said. “Depending on the day you come, we may give away 50 gift cards, we may give away 100 gift cards. It’s truly a random distribution of gift cards. The reception has been very good.” Since the launch of this initiative, Vaughn shared what excites them the most is knowing the gift cards they’re giving out are being used. “Earlier this year we gave away 500 Hurt’s Donuts gift cards and in essence it was truly a free donut. So we would give it to a family, so they would get one free donut. Then obviously purchase a few extra donuts for the rest of the family. At last report, Hurt’s had received over 410 gift cards back out of the 500. So we know the guests are enjoying it and taking full advantage of it.” “Fritz’s Supports Local has been awesome for us. We have seen a lot of folks that we probably would have not normally seen,” Hurts Donuts Owner Shanna Dorlan said. “It’s really fun to get them in here and they talk about Fritz’s Adventure and we get to talk about our donuts. The experience is just awesome.”
Guests of Fritz’s Adventure who received a gift card during the visit are encouraged to take a picture at the attraction with their gift card and post the
photo to Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #FritzsSupportsLocal and #FritzsAdventure for their chance to be one of the 20 selected this year to win an additional $25 gift card from Andy’s Frozen Custard. “We were excited Fritz’s wanted to partner with us and expose their clients, who already love Branson, to another new place here in town that is just going to help them love Branson even more,” Angie Woods with Parlor Doughnuts
said. Though Fritz’s Adventure already offers more than 80,000 square feet of adventurous fun for families of all ages, Vaughn said they are consistently striving to do more. “There’s that old saying, ‘Do for one, what you wish you could do for everyone.’ We’re trying to impact as many of those local restaurants as we can. We want to be generous in a world that doesn’t seem to have as much kindness as it used to and doesn’t seem to have as
much generosity as it used to,” Vaughn said. “We’d like to be able to encourage and inspire our guests, local restaurants, their guests and others that hear about this promotion to continue to exhibit kindness, to continue to exhibit generosity, because there are still lots of good people in this world and there’s still a lot of good business owners out there. We sort of want to highlight those people and encourage people to shop at those locations and to be able to give back whatever way they see fit as well.” Inside Fritz’s Adventure, guests will find ziplining, underground tunnels, an airworthy airplane, a massive water tower, extreme slides, climbing walls, warped walls, shipping containers, a laser maze and much more. Fritz’s Adventure is located at 1425
W. 76 Country Blvd. in Branson. The attraction is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Hours are subject to change on select days. For additional information on the Branson attraction or to make ticket reservations visit fritzsadventure.com.

Online resource hub created to help families in need


By AJ Fahr aj@bransontrilakesnews.com
Skaggs Foundation awarded Hollister School District a three-year, $40,000 grant in late 2021 to create an online, searchable database of resources for Stone and Taney counties. The website, ResourcestotheRescue.org, launched in May.
A new source is available to help Stone and Taney County residents find resources before times of crisis. The Resource to the Rescue is a search able database, which was funded by the Skaggs Foundation, was the brainchild of Hollister Middle School Counselor Sandy Brown. The idea came to Brown when she couldn’t find an online search able database of local resources to use to help families in her district. She decided she’d take on the project herself. Just six months after receiving funding from Skaggs Foundation, the website went live, according to a press release from the Skaggs Foundation.
The website offers a resource hub for the area, according to the Resources to the Rescue website. The database offers a place for the community to easily navigate to find the help they need. “The Resources to the Rescue website stems from counselors, social workers, and other staff dreaming of an updated and maintained resource hub for our community,” Brown explained. “Many community members would begin looking for resources and the roadblocks were too overwhelming for them to continue their search. This leads to community members finding themselves in crisis.” Brown said as a school counselor, she sees families reach out for help when they are in “crisis mode.” Brown could spend hours trying to find resources to aid with everything from electric bills, rent and car repairs. She said she knew there had to be a better way, but it was going to take a lot of work.

In the spring of 2021, Brown presented the idea of a search able resource website to the Skaggs Foundation. The idea quickly evolved from helping just Hollister families to creating a database to help families and individuals throughout Stone and Taney counties, stated the release. In late 2021, Brown was awarded a three-year, $40,000 Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant to create the website. Brown brought in a team, which included a social work intern and the Hollister School District’s counseling team, to gather the information of local organizations and resources for the hub and the website built this past school year. The site went live in late May and the team is now focused on maintaining and keeping the site up-to-date. “Not only do we want to provide resources, but we also want to empower our community members to obtain these resources before they reach crisis mode,” she said. “Our hope and mission is that the Resources to the Rescue website will serve as a tool for not only the community but for organizations, agencies, service providers, schools, religious organizations, hospitals and more.” According to the website, the Resources to the Rescue team hopes to give an equal opportunity for all to have access to the information about resources available to them. “Our team realized how necessary it was for our community to have a go-to and maintained resource website,” stated the website. “Our team is actively working to strengthen the community by providing equal access to resources to promote equal opportunities and outcomes.” The website lists resources available to the area for the following needs.

  • Affordable Health Care
  • Clothing
  • Crisis
  • Family Support
  • Food
  • Mental Health
  • Personal Development
    According to the website, if an agency, organization, or service provider in Stone and Taney counties would like to join Resources to the Rescue’s website, they must fill out a questionnaire found on the website. A Resources to the Rescue team member will review the information provided in the questionnaire and then will be in contact with the agency to answer questions and finalize the information provided before publishing it on the website. There is no cost to join the hub. “Being a part of the Resources to the Rescue website will bring awareness to the services and resources your organization or agency may provide and assist those in need,” states the website. “Resources to the Rescue is a go-to resource hub that is regularly updated to best serve the needs of
    our community.” Ozark Mountain Country Cares Communications Director Susan Flores said she is grateful for Brown and the team for stepping up to take on such an important project. She said the site will not only be a great resource for families, but also help local entities understand what other organizations are doing in the community and make referrals. The site is user friendly, easy to navigate and has an online form for organizations to be able quickly and easily update their information. “Everyone in our community will be able to benefit tremendously from Resources to the Rescue,” Flores said. “For the family needing assistance, it
    will be a great place to start to access resources they need. Thank you, Hollister Schools, for initiating this much needed resource.”
    To learn more about the Resources to the Rescue project, visit Resourcestotherescue.org.
    To learn more about Skaggs Foundation and Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant opportunities, visit SkaggsFoundation.org