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News Release

Henderson Names Heritage Parade Grand Marshals
1951 beauty queen, Basic High School educator, former fire chief & oldest Henderson business to be honored

March 18, 2013



Henderson, Nev. – The city of Henderson announced the 2013 Heritage Parade grand marshals today. In honor of the city’s 60th anniversary, the five individuals reflect the community’s history, ranging from one of the town’s first beauty queens, a family of lifelong teachers and former Henderson Fire Chief, amongst others. The grand marshals will lead the Heritage Parade, Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m. Below is the list of the honorees.

Betty Beason
A Henderson resident for more than 70 years, Betty Beason represents one of the city’s first beauty queen contest winners. Named Miss VFW 1951 (later changed to Miss Industrial Days in 1953), Beason is the daughter of Ida Belle Riggins, Henderson’s first woman Mayor Pro Tem and founder of the Clark County School District lunch program.

Beason, who graduated from Basic High School and was the first female to receive the governor’s citizenship trophy, still resides in one of the original Townsite homes, where she raised three kids who also call Henderson home. Her image, along with her mother’s and granddaughter’s, can be seen on the Muffler Shop mural, which is owned by her son, Dave Beason.  

David Bennion
A Henderson native, David Bennion is a teacher at Basic High School. He has been at the school for over 30 years, winning several accolades, including Who’s Who in American Education and the Clark County School District’s “Teacher of the Year” award for the southeast region. He also chaired the school’s science department.

Bennion comes from a family of educators. His father was the principal at the original Henderson Junior High School, now known as Burkholder Middle School, in 1969. In addition, his brother, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, currently teaches at Fay Galloway Elementary School in Henderson.

LeRoy Chase
LeRoy Chase has lived in Henderson since 1954. A teacher with 42 years experience, Chase taught social studies, history, government and world geography at Brown Junior High for 32 years, as well as Burkholder Middle School for a decade. Presently, he teaches at Pinecrest Academy, a charter school in Henderson, which he helped design with his fellow board members. He’s a decorated educator, winning “Teacher of the Year” three times. Chase is also an Army veteran.  

Joe Hill
Joe Hill is a retired Henderson Fire Chief. A resident since 1952, the Basic High School graduate and Air Force veteran served on the city’s fire department for 28 years. During his career, Hill responded to hundreds of emergency calls.

Over the years, the first responder climbed the ranks within the Henderson Fire Department, eventually earning a promotion to fire chief in 1995. Under his leadership, the organization became one of the first in the nation to become accredited by the Commission of Fire Accreditation International and the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. Also, he opened four additional fire stations in the city, negotiating with master-planned community developers to furnish the new stations to accommodate the extensive population growth, saving the city millions, as well as opened the Henderson Fire Training Center, a state-of-the-art live fire training facility, in 1997.

Since leaving the Henderson Fire Department in 2001, Hill enjoys volunteering at the Clark County Museum, fly fishing and spending time with his two grandchildren.

Hafen’s OK Tire Store
Hafen’s OK Tire Store is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Henderson. The shop was founded in 1953 by Herschel Hafen, Mayor Hafen’s late father, who passed it on to his nephew, Dennis Hafen, in 1975. Since Dennis’ passing in 1998, the shop has been run by the third generation of Hafens. Still in business today, Hafen’s OK Tire Store is located on Lake Mead Parkway, the same lot as when it opened 60 years ago.

The Heritage Parade & Festival celebrates Henderson’s official incorporation. This year marks the city’s 60th anniversary. In addition to the parade, the event features breakfast with city council, an international food & music festival and car show, all of which is held on Saturday, April 6 at the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water Street, in the Water Street District. A four-day carnival kicks off the festivities, Thursday, April 4-Sunday, April 7. Admission is complimentary (*Some activities may require paid admission).  

For more information, visit or call the city of Henderson Cultural Arts & Tourism Department at (702) 267-2171. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The city of Henderson supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Advanced notice may be necessary to ensure that appropriate accommodations will be provided. For full telephone, use Relay Nevada by dialing 7-1-1.

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About City of Henderson: Incorporated in 1953, Henderson is Nevada’s second largest city with nearly 270,000 residents. Henderson is a premier city, nationally recognized for its stunning parks, trails, master-planned communities, outstanding quality of life and patriotic past. Noted by President John F. Kennedy as a “city of destiny,” Henderson celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2013, a tribute to the city’s rich history and culture. Recognized as one of America’s Best Places to Live (MONEY: 2012, 2008, 2006), one of America’s Best Cities (Business Week), and the Second Safest City in America (Forbes), Henderson is a progressive and vibrant city committed to maintaining premier amenities and services for all who chose to live, learn, work and play in Henderson…a place to call home.


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