Multiple agencies responded to a call Thursday afternoon at West Hall Baptist Church to a Thanksgiving feast that needed to be put away for good.
The Oakwood church hosted its annual lunch for first responders, as Hall County first responders dined with Oakwood and Flowery Branch police.
Olene Little, a member of the West Hall Baptist congregation, volunteered along with other members to serve police and firefighters, showing her appreciation for their service.
“It’s just a great feeling,” Little said. “The veterans look forward to it every year.”
So much so, senior pastor Mike Reynolds said, that longtime participants approach him weeks before the event, explaining how they look forward to the hospitality.
“They hit me up like that all the time,” Reynolds said.
Many of the officers in attendance for the event, Little said, are often on-duty officers looking for a bite to eat. For those who get caught up on a call, the organizers will bring the feast to them.
“After we close out, we’ll pack up food and take it to them,” Little said.
The event entering its 13th year, Reynolds said, is to honor the men and women who serve West Hall and the rest of the county.
“If you’re in a crisis, you sure want to see one (of them) there,” Reynolds said.
Former Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic, who served in the post for 12 years, made sure to make it to the lunch every time, Reynolds said.
“He came every year,” Reynolds said. “He never missed it.”
Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch, as he dressed his plate with Thanksgiving fixings, expressed his appreciation for the church’s hospitality. An additional benefit of the lunch, he said, was the opportunity for deputies to mix and mingle with officers from other neighboring departments.
“The fellowship that we have here is tremendous,” Couch said.