Organizers of Monday’s First Responders Appreciation Event were more than pleased with the turnout, they were overwhelmed by the support from local businesses and individuals.

“This started as an idea for a pot-luck supper at the firehouse,” said Southern Boone Helping Hands organizer Kellye McCord, “and it just kept growing and we wanted everyone included.”

Members of the Southern Boone Fire District, Ashland Police and MU Health Ambulance were present, many with their families.

“We have had a lot of tragedies lately and then we had the fire over at the trailer court this summer and what went on with that – it sort of spurred us to do something for these men and women.”

The event drew more than 200 to the City Park shelter and speakers – including Mayor Gene Rhorer, Fire District’s Barrett Glascock, Boone County Commissioner Fred Parry and Rep. Sara Walsh – thanked and recognized first responders.

A cookout dinner was provided to all who attended.

“This is a little slice of Americana,” Parry said. “It embodies the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors. It’s a sense of community – and that is what Southern Boone County is known for.”

By Bruce Wallace