Salem and Span­ish Fork youth treat lo­cal First Re­spon­ders to Break­fast

Serve Daily - - COMMUNITY - By Megan Wall­gren

The Span­ish Fork and Salem Youth City Coun­cils teamed up to hold an ap­pre­ci­a­tion break­fast for com­mu­nity First Re­spon­ders on Novem­ber 11, to show their grat­i­tude for those who care for city res­i­dents.

“The Span­ish Fork Youth City Coun­cil has al­ways wanted to show our ap­pre­ci­a­tion for our city’s Po­lice Of­fi­cers, and First Re­spon­ders. We thought putting on a break­fast to show that ap­pre­ci­a­tion would be a great way to ac­knowl­edge and per­son­ally thank our first re­spon­ders. They do so much for us. It’s time to give back,” said Kiera Allen, the Ser­vice Of­fi­cer of the Span­ish Fork Youth Coun­cil.

Around 41 mem­bers of the Span­ish Fork and Salem po­lice, fire and am­bu­lance de­part­ments at­tended the break­fast planned and ex­e­cuted by the youth in the two com­mu­ni­ties.

Jace Bal­lard, Span­ish Fork Youth City Coun­cil Mayor, said, “We spent about 40 hours plan­ning the first re­spon­ders break­fast, which in­cluded, shop­ping, mak­ing posters, cook­ing some of the food, find­ing the best prices, (Maceys and Cir­cle V meat helped us to ac­com­plish this ser­vice project and stay within our bud­get) meet­ings, and much more. We had about 50 youth help­ing at the break­fast for the 4 hours that it lasted, in­clud­ing Salem’s youth city coun­cil.”

Salem City Po­lice Chief Brad S. James said, “We live in a won­der­ful area and are blessed with the best youth around. The break­fast that our youth pro­vided al­lowed us to not only sit down and eat with our youth but, to get to know each of them on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis.”

James felt this event helped im­prove the re­la­tion­ship be­tween first re­spon­ders and the youth in the com­mu­nity. “They found out that I was once just like them and that I faced a num­ber of is­sues and chal­lenges that they are cur­rently fac­ing. Our youth also found out that as a po­lice of­fi­cer I’m faced with many chal­lenges in my ca­reer.

"That by work­ing to­gether and do­ing our part all of us can make our com­mu­ni­ties a bet­ter and safer place to live. The youth that I had break­fast with now have a con­nec­tion with me as a po­lice chief and can feel com­fort­able com­ing into my of­ficeor when they see me on the street to dis­cuss their prob­lems and con­cerns or to just say ‘Hi’,” he said.

Mem­bers from the Youth City Coun­cils from both cities also en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence. “My fa­vorite thing about the break­fast was be­ing able to get to know all our first re­spon­ders a lit­tle bit bet­ter, and per­son­ally thank­ing them for all they do. It re­ally was cool get­ting to spend some time with them,” Allen said.

Salem Youth City Coun­cil Mayor Whit­ney Gra­ham said, “Some­thing I learned was first re­spon­ders take their job very se­ri­ous and most didn’t stay a su­per long time so that they could be back, ready for the call.”

Bal­lard said the Youth Coun­cil has done some things to thank First Re­spon­ders in the past, but this year wanted to be able to in­ter­act with them more. He said it could only be ac­com­plished with the com­mu­ni­ties work­ing to­gether.

“We knew when we started the project that it was go­ing to be big­ger than any­thing we have ever done be­fore, but we wanted to do it any­way. I know that there was no pos­si­ble way that I could have done this alone. The only rea­son that this project was ac­com­plished was be­cause we worked to­gether and were will­ing to put in a lot of time and ef­fort. We un­der­stood how im­por­tant this project was and we were not will­ing to give up on it. At times it was stress­ful and a lit­tle in­tim­i­dat­ing know­ing how much work we were go­ing to have to put into it but now that it is over, I would choose to do the same over and over again,” he said.

Photo: Courtesy Tara Sil­ver

Mem­bers of the Span­ish Fork and Salem Youth City Coun­cil’s serve their cities’ po­lice, fire and am­bu­lance em­ploy­ees at the First Re­pon­ders break­fast.

Photo: Courtesy Tara Sil­ver

First Rep­son­ders and mem­bers of the Youth City Coun­cils from Salem and Span­ish Fork.

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