On Oct. 27, The Preserve, Hope Healthcare and CareUnit.us hosted a drive-thru barbeque to celebrate first responders in honor of National First Responders Day. The meals provided included grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies and water for first responders to take for themselves and their colleagues.
Deputies and Communications staff members from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and state troopers attended the event to pick up a free meal. Several of the attendees brought free meals back to their departments to share with their colleagues.
David Burnett and Anthony Mazella of The Preserve grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, and Rachel Byrd of The Preserve, Carrie Dunkley of CareUnit.us and Dee Dashiell of Hope Healthcare were responsible for putting together lunches for Lee County’s first responders, greeting them as they arrived and thanking them for their contributions to the local community.
“Having an event like this is meaningful to the entire healthcare community,” said Ryan Keller, executive director of The Preserve. “Providing a meal for our first responders while they are on the road is just a small way to thank them for all that they do for us, our residents and our community.”
During the event, approximately a dozen first responders came through The Preserve’s main entrance in their vehicles to learn about why The Preserve, Hope Healthcare and CareUnit.us were hosting the barbeque; they each received a bagged lunch before leaving, and many took a few meals back to their fellow first responders who were busy with calls that day. After the event, the host organizations delivered lunches to Fire Chief Gene Rogers and several firefighters of South Trail Fire & Rescue.