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Chamber looks to honor first responders

VALLEY — For the second straight year, the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold its First Responders Appreciation Breakfast at the Valley Community Center this Friday.

Beginning at 8 a.m. CDT, the RSVP-only event will honor 47 different agencies that meet the definition of a “first responder,” according to Chamber Executive Director Ashley Crane.

“Last year we had about 42 or 43 agencies,” she said, noting that finding groups that fall under the definition is a learning process.

About 300 people have RSVP’d to the event.

“We’re happy to honor these people,” Crane said. “They are on the front line and keeping people safe.”

Crane added that the list of honorees includes not only those that immediately spring to mind, such as firefighters and police officers, but electrical line workers and coroners as well.

“A lot of these people are not usually thought of as first responders,” she said. “But they still respond whenever there is a crisis.”

The event begins with a breakfast provided by 10 different area restaurants and features items such as eggs, grits, sausage and gravy, biscuits, bacon, breakfast bars, pancakes, cinnamon knots and pigs in a blanket.

One of the restaurants providing food is Pokey’s 8th Street Grill in West Point. Co-owner Georgia Norman said they will be providing the pigs in a blanket. This is the first year they have helped out.

“Carrie [Royster, Chamber marketing & events manager] gave us a call,” Norman said. “One item we have on our catering menu is pigs in a blanket. It will feed a lot of people.”

The meal is scheduled to last an hour. Afterwards, attendees will be recognized and comedian and veteran Jodie Fuller will speak.

Crane noted there are 30 sponsors, not including restaurants, that are lending a hand.

“We’re thankful to have businesses that are willing to help out,” she said.