Saturday, 04 March 2017 07:35

A feast of appreciation: Church feeds first responders

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Firefighters Lenny Dube, foreground, and Ramah Long are greeted as they enter the church. Firefighters Lenny Dube, foreground, and Ramah Long are greeted as they enter the church.

Blaine Given hopes to see it become a tradition — feeding first responders at the Mormon church on Park Avenue.

In November the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fed around 40 police officers, firefighters and first responders.
The success led the church council approving another event, which was held Friday night.
“It’s our way of saying ‘thank, you,’ for all they do for the community,” Given said as barbecue chicken and pork loin simmered on cookers.
The effort to put on the feast not only came together through the work of church members, but the community as well, with Boy Scout Troop 182 setting up tables and chairs.
Given said he and the congregation are appreciative of what the responders do. “These guys work hard, a lot harder than I do, and aren’t paid what they should be.”

Roanoke Rapids Fire Chief Stacy Coggins said he is appreciative of the church. “I think it’s great. I think it’s awesome. We don’t do it to be appreciated but when they say ‘thank, you,’ it’s with grateful hearts we accept it.”
The chicken and pork loin were not the only items served the responders Friday night. There was a bounty of side items, desserts and drinks to go along with the main courses.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Lieutenant Bryan Hollowell of the fire department as he and others sat in the fellowship hall enjoying the dinner. “It’s nice of them to have us.”
Said firefighter Ramah Long, “We feel very appreciated.”
Roanoke Rapids police Officer Cody Fortier echoed the comments of the firefighters. “I think it’s awesome. Anytime the community reaches out, it’s great. Community relations are what we’re supposed to be about.”

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