The Fayette Christian School (FCS) and Fayette Bible Church (FBC) honored the first responders of Fayette County on Thursday with a meal and a short program.
With love in the air for Valentine’s Day, the FCS decided to invite the community’s first responders to the school to show their appreciation for the sacrifice of all those who serve the community and keep it safe. The gymnasium at the school was decorated with many hearts and messages from students thanking the men and women present.
Members of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Washington Police Department, Washington Fire Department, Fayette County EMS, Concord-Green Township Fire Department, and even the Fayette County Commissioners, among many others joined in for a celebration of their service.
“I think the biggest thing about giving back to the first responders is living in a community for so long — I have been here for over 30 years — and watching kids grow up to go into law enforcement and other things, and we thought we needed to honor these guys and gals who put their lives on the line every day,” FBC pastor Tony Garren said during the first lunch. “So often we forget, and so I thought it would be important not only for us to remember as Fayette Christian School, but for our students. It helps them understand that we need to respect those in positions of authority trying to keep us safe so there is not that disrespect for the police or fire departments or other first responders like the EMS. It’s important that we instill respect for those who are trying to protect.”
The first responders were treated to a “build your own taco” bar that included a variety of ingredients such as rice, beans, corn, sauce, sour cream and more. Additionally, they were served nachos, soup, dessert and beverages by volunteers looking to honor the men and women present. The first responders were also joined by students of the school so they could eat together and talk. Some students even took time to pass out Valentine’s Day cards to first responders.
“We held this for several reasons, the first is the basic principle of gratitude,” Fayette Christian School Principal Larry Fitch said. “We need to be thankful for the blessings the Lord gives us and for individuals such as these who give of themselves and really risk their lives every day. The other reason is to learn to respect them for what they do and who they are. I don’t think we are getting that a lot in our society right now. We are seeing a lot of distrust, hatred and violence for those who are trying to help others.”
Fitch and Garren took time to thank a number of volunteers who helped to organize and serve the meal. Rachel (McClish) Conn, Nancy McClish, Brett McClish, Paul McClish, Polly McClish, Gary Shaffer and Jean Shaffer were all mentioned, but they both said they didn’t want to leave anyone out and thanked everyone who had a hand in the event. During the brief program, Fitch read a poem, “A Litany of Thanks for First Responders.” Garren recounted a time he needed the first responders the most during a car accident, and the song “The Life You Chose to Share,” was played.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.