Hell’s Kitchen hosts appreciation event

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Canyon Lake Mayor Vicki Warren thanks Frank Opp on behalf of Canyon Lake and Lake Elsinore. Photo by Scott Sanchez

Hell’s Kitchen Motorsports Bar & Grill hosted an appreciation event Oct. 13 and 14 for the first responders who worked the Holy wildfires.

Canyon Lakers Frank Opp and his son Trevor Opp co-own and operate Hell’s Kitchen, a hidden gem at the top of the Ortega. When the Holy fires raged toward the restaurant and surrounding community, evacuation orders were given.

Frank and Trevor, along with a crew of employees, friends and volunteers, chose to remain so that they could provide food and supplies to the first responders working in the area. This small crew served the fire-weary first responders 24 hours a day.

Hell’s Kitchen Motorsports Bar & Grill has been recognized by many local communities for their efforts on behalf of the heroes who risked their lives to protect the property, livestock and lives in the path of the dreadful wildfires that eventually consumed 23,136 acres. Frank, Trevor and their crew wanted to give the community a chance to honor the hardworking and too often unsung heroes, so they arranged for an “Appreciation Day” which turned into an “Appreciation Weekend” when Saturday’s weather refused to cooperate. “This event was put on as a way for our entire community to thank the first responders,” said Frank Opp. “We wanted to show our appreciation for their amazing efforts. It is humbling to know that such humanity exists in our world.”

On Sunday, the sun shone brightly and the community came out to show their appreciation. Representatives of CalFire and the U.S. Department of Forestry were greeted and honored. Canyon Lake Mayor Vicki Warren was on hand to personally thank the heroes on behalf of Canyon Lake and Lake Elsinore, whose Mayor, Natasha Johnson, was unable to attend. “The response to the Holy Jim fire was incredible.” said Mayor Warren “This cruel and senseless act affected so many people, but because of these heroes lives, property and homes were saved. I am honored to be here to help honor them.”

Wildomar City Councilwoman Bridgette Moore and Wildomar’s Teen Miss Daisy Varney also attended to thank the heroes. “We were not in the direct path of the fire, but we were still touched by these events. Thank you from the City of Wildomar,” said Moore. Councilwoman Moore also mentioned the heroics of the local animal shelter, Animal Friends of the Valley, who had set up a staging area at Hell’s Kitchen to help process evacuated animals.

Hell’s Kitchen prepared certificates for each and every police and fire agency that fought the wildfires and Mayor Warren read the impressive list of names as CalFire and U.S. Department of Forestry personnel mounted the stage to a hero’s welcome.

Local community members and volunteers who helped Hell’s Kitchen stay open for the first responders, many of whom were on hand for the event, were also honored and received certificates of appreciation.

For more information about Hell’s Kitchen Motorsports Bar and Grille, visit hellskitchen74.com.

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