PORT LAVACA, TEXAS - Grace Funeral Home held their 2nd annual first responders' luncheon Friday afternoon.
Addressing the attendees, Vanessa Hicks-Callaway said, "You're the first to respond, the first to protect, serve, defend and the first to fight. I admire you for that!"
Day in and day out, first responders put their lives on the line to keep the community safe.
"There are citizens out there that are concerned and do care and do respect them. We do appreciate what they do 24/7, 365 days a year," adds Charles Hauboldt, owner of Grace Funeral Home.
For Hauboldt, this event means more than just helping out emergency personnel. It is also an homage to the first responder he grew up admiring.
"My dad was first responder actually. He was a firefighter and when the EMS program came along, he was a supervisor for the EMS in Victoria," he reflected.
Local first responders think it's great that the community is honoring them with this thankful gesture.
Juan Luna of the Port Lavaca Fire Department says, "We are very appreciative of these type of events. We don't do this for recognition. All of us do this because it's what we love to do, so to have things like this go on, it's heartfelt."
Members of the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office says they are touched by the amount of support and care the community has for their first responders.
Sheriff Bobbie Vickery tells us that, "It's great for the community to come together, especially in today's times. To see the response the community has to first responders and their support... We could never do this job without the support of the community. Of course, we do this job because of the community, and our goal is to make sure that we have someone here to keep them safe and make sure they are taken care of."
Charles Hauboldt explained that he also hopes that there are more of these events going on currently, and growing in the future. "I hope the community, no matter where it is, whether it's here in Calhoun County, or any community out there in the United States of America, comes together and understands what our first responders do for us," he says.
Organizers want everyone to thank the first responders in their community for all they do.
Hauboldt emphatically thanked the attendees and told them, "I hope that folks out there will take time, at least every day, to say 'thank you!'"
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