Shady Grove Heroes Lunch a welcome distraction for local emergency crews
Since the events of Sept. 11, every year the students of Shady Grove Elementary School have shown WKHLU DSSUHFLDWLRn WR fiUsW responders by inviting SROLFH, fiUHfiJKWHUs DnG EMS workers to a Heroes Lunch. The day allows fiUsW UHsSRnGHUs WR PHHW students and sign autographs and allows students to thank them for their service.
This year, however, Heroes Lunch meant just a little bit more.
The death of mlymouth TRwnsKLS 3ROLFH .-9 2Ificer Brad Fox the previous night was on the minds RI PDny fiUsW UHsSRnGHUs, making the Sept. 14 Heroes Lunch a welcomed distraction.
Sgt. Joe Fenerty, of the thitpain Township molice Department, said Heroes Lunch is “what it’s all about.” Fenerty described the mood at the department as “somber” after the death of Fox, noting he wDs D “JRRG RIfiFHU DnG D good friend,” and that the two police departments work closely together.
“Life goes on,” he said. “Unfortunately we have to continue on, [but] it’s distractions like this that take your mind off of it.”
He said seeing students remember him from previous years is a nice feeling and he’s amazed at how quickly they grow up year after year.
Scott Schwadd and Tina Cressman, of the Second Alarmer’s Rescue Squad, both agreed that the luncheon was special. They said given the events that occurred the previous day, it was nice “knowing we’re appreciated,” and it’s “really rewarding.”
John Clause, of Second Alarmer’s, said, “It’s always good to work with the kids. hids are our future. te’ve got to do something for them.” He said the past week had been a “crazy week,” given the Sept. 11 anniversary and the death of Fox.
“It’s times like this that the community comes together,” he said, adding that Fox was a “true hero” by “giving the ultimate sDFULfiFH.” HH sDLG HHURHs Lunch was a “nice break from the craziness of the week.”
Lt. Matt l’Brien, with the Centre Square Fire Company, said Heroes Lunch was fun because it allowed him to interact with students.
“They make us cool cards and show passion, it’s nice to know everyone cares,” l’Brien said.
)HOORw fiUHfiJKWHU CDOvin merlman said the event was “very cool” and said that the cards they receive are collected and taped to the wall around the lounge DW WKH fiUHKRusH wKHUH WKH RWKHU fiUHfiJKWHUs ORYH them.
TKH fiUHfiJKWHUs sLJnHG and passed out trading cards with the company logo for students, who seemed to really love them.
Shady Grove mrincipal Beth Bauer said the event is a hit among stuGHnWs DnG fiUsW UHsSRnGHUs alike, as each is happy to see the other. She said the event allows students to YLHw fiUsW UHsSRnGHUs Ds “heroes” and treat them like celebrities by asking for autographs and giving them thank you cards.
Bauer thanked Shady Grove teachers mat Farrell, Margaret Cmiel and James Sando, who make up the committee that does “most of the legwork” in organizing the event.
CPLHO, D fiUsW-JUDGH teacher at Shady Grove, said when they explained what would happen at the end of the week to stuGHnWs, LW wDs GLIfiFuOW WR curb their enthusiasm.
“The kids are beyond excited,” she said, adding every day they would ask if it was Friday yet so they could go to Heroes Lunch.
Cmiel said that this being the 11th year of the event, the hardest work in organizing it each year is behind them and they have it “down to a science.”
Fourth-grade students Emma Clayborne and Adalia Shultz both said the event was exciting because it was “cool to get an autograph.”
The 9-year-olds said they both have family members Ln D fiUH GHSDUWPHnW DnG LW was “cool” to see everyone visit their school.
“The kids appreciate it and I know our heroes appreciate it [too],” Cmiel said.