TORONTO - The city coalition for revitalization is planning a First Responders Appreciation Banquet for Aug. 14 at Karaffa Elementary School.
The banquet, which is free for all first responders, their spouses and children up to age 18, will begin with a social gathering at 5 p.m., with dinner being served at 5:30 p.m. For those attending in support of safety forces, the cost is $15 per plate. Tickets can be purchased at Clarke Funeral Home, John Ratti/State Farm Insurance, the Toronto Municipal Building and Toronto Apothecary. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 8, according to Bob Merideth, event co-organizer.
"With all that's going on in the country, we think Toronto is one of the safest communities in the valley," said Merideth. "Where else can you go walk the streets at night without fear of something happening? Here in Toronto, no one is afraid of the police. They are always out in the community. They are very visible."
The Toronto Coalition for Revitalization is hosting a First Responders Appreciation Banquet to show appreciation to city and county police, fire, volunteers and emergency medical responders who live in the city. The evening will include free dinners for first responders, their spouses and children, while the public can buy tickets at $15 a plate. Helping to the plan the event, which will be held Aug. 14 at Karaffa Elementary School, are, from left, Police Chief Randy Henry; Clark Crago, TEMS chief of operations; and Fire Chief Bill Scheel. — Contributed
Merideth said those being honored and getting free tickets for the event include members and families of the city's police and fire departments and the fire department volunteers, as well as the TEMS Joint Ambulance District and any Jefferson County sheriff's deputies who live within Toronto city limits.
"Anyone else will have to buy a ticket for $15," continued Merideth. "(Hosting) a first responders banquet without the public showing up wouldn't be right. We're hoping to get as many people as we can to come to the event to express their appreciation."
Ruth Stansbury and Nutrician Inc. will be catering the buffet-style meal, which will include baked steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, pasta, salad, rolls, cake and a variety of beverages, according to Merideth.
"Linda Burkey will be decorating the tables," he added. "Don Clarke is going to be the master of ceremonies."
The program will follow the dinner.
Preliminary plans indicate Clarke will welcome guests, after which the invocation will be given by the Rev. Raul Diaz, pastor of the Cornerstone Church; the American Legion Color Guard will lead the Pledge of Allegiance; remarks will be offered by Mayor John Parker, state Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, and state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire; proclamations of appreciation will be handed out by TEMS Chief of Operations Clark Crago, Fire Chief Bill Scheel, Police Chief Randy Henry and Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla; closing remarks will be offered by Merideth and Dave Rhodes, vice commander of Toronto American Legion Post 86; and the evening will end with a salute by the Legion firing squad.
For information, call (740) 381-4015 or (740) 317-3947; or go visit www.thegemcity.org.