Cham­ber to host first re­spon­ders ap­pre­ci­a­tion din­ner

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— Thirty-seven first re­spon­ders from 19 agen­cies will be hon­ored by the en­tire county Thurs­day at the Up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Ball­room.

This com­mu­nity-wide ap­pre­ci­a­tion din­ner is or­ga­nized by the Cecil County Cham­ber of Com­merce, but is open to the pub­lic.

Bon­nie Grady, pres­i­dent and CEO of the cham­ber said the event has re­ceived a very pos­i­tive re­ac­tion from ev­ery­one who hears about it.

NORTH EAST

“In fact, I’ve never par­tic­i­pated in any com­mu­nity event that has touched me so much,” she said this week.

Grady said the idea grew out of a board of di­rec­tors meet­ing a few years ago.

“The cham­ber isn’t just about busi­ness, but it’s about a strong com­mu­nity,” she said. “The goal here is to honor all of the vol­un­teers and paid per­son­nel who put their lives on the line daily to pro­tect us.”

This is the cham­ber’s first at­tempt to host such an event, but Grady hopes it will be­come an an­nual event that will grow in pop­u­lar­ity.

“I think it will be very spe­cial,” she said.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at about 7:30 p.m. Tick­ets are $30 for adults and $10 for chil­dren un­der the age of 10.

“The cli­mate for pub­lic safety work­ers across the coun­try is very chal­leng­ing right now,” Grady said. “We are just try­ing to show our ap­pre­ci­a­tion to them this week.”

The agenda in­cludes din­ner and an awards cer­e­mony with County Direc­tor of Emer­gency Ser­vices Richard Brooks act­ing as mas­ter of cer­e­monies.

“He has been a tremen­dous help to us get­ting this event or­ga­nized,” Grady said.

County Ex­ec­u­tive Tari Moore is­sued a procla­ma­tion mak­ing Thurs­day “First Re- spon­ders Day” in Cecil County, and many of the county’s mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have fol­lowed suit as well. Grady said cer­tifi­cates of ap­pre­ci­a­tion will be given to in­di­vid­u­als from each of the 19 agen­cies, all of whom were nom­i­nated by their su­pe­ri­ors for out­stand­ing ef­forts on the job. In ad­di­tion, agen­cies will also re­ceive cer­tifi­cates to hang on their walls.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call the cham­ber of­fice at 410392-3833.

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