On January 16, 2022, tragedy struck Hot Springs Village and the life of a visiting kayaker was lost when his kayak overturned and he drowned in Lake DeSoto, Hot Springs Village.

Villager, Elizabeth (Corazon) Hart, touched by this tragedy, was moved to start a Memorial Bench Project to honor the life of Sgt. Maestas.

I shared with Andrew’s family, that many Villagers had reached out on social media to lend words of support and also expressed a desire to do more for the family, if possible. This has truly been an inspiration to the family as they struggle to find peace enough to sleep through the night. I expressed the desire of many in the Village to commemorate Andrew’s life with a bench and flag pole, pending POA approval. The Maestas family is grateful for that gesture and wants very much to be included in the dedication ceremony.

Elizabeth (Corazon) Hart, Organizer of Sgt. Andrew Maestas Memorial Bench Project

We wanted to let everyone know the status of this endeavor. Ms. Hart successfully raised the amount of money needed and currently, the bench is on order with the Hot Springs Village Recreation Department. Elizabeth was informed that it will take about four months to receive this bench. When the bench arrives and subsequent arrangements are made, we will update the community as to the details of the dedication ceremony.

Click below to read the articles on the Hotspringsvillagepeople.com website regarding this tragic incident and Elizabeth’s Memorial Bench Project.

Cheryl Dowden, Publisher Hot Springs Village Gazette