The Royal Canadian Legion, George Pearkes Branch #56 – Princeton hosted the First Annual First Responders Appreciation Dinner at the Legion Hall on Friday, March 21.
Local first responders were greeted at the door by Sgt.-at- Arms Chuck Whitlock, Legion Chaplain Sandi Lawlor, president Jim Turner, past-president Wayne Terepocki, Princeton Ambassador, Destiny Earle and B.C. Ambassador candidate, Megan Pateman.
Legion Chaplain and event organizer Sandi Lawlor emceed the evening, opening by saying, “This is the first time we have had all these fantastic people together at one time—thank you for coming.”
Welcomes, commendations and heartfelt thank yous were issued to the first responders and the units they represented by Legion president, Jim Turner, Area H director Brad Hope and by Mayor Frank Armitage.
“These are people who are volunteers that put in their time, energy and money sometimes, they aren’t thanked enough.” ~ Jim Turner
“I am overwhelmed by what you all do for the community—you are amazing and I don’t know how you do it.”
~ Brad Hope
“All you people do a top-notch job, you are all very much unsung heroes.” ~ Frank Armitage
Bernadette Kelleher’s Legion Crew; Linda, Karen, Jean, Janice and Bernie, (extra special thanks to Linda for the Lasagne and Jean for the desserts) prepared and served dinner of lasagne, garlic toast and caesar salad followed by tarts for dessert.
The money man, as he has been affectionately dubbed, Brad Hope received many thanks for his hard work and support of the various first responder units.
“A lot of us owe a great deal to Brad Hope,” said Sandi Lawlor.
Door prizes for the first responders were contributed by Cannery Brewing, George Pearkes Branch #56, Bernadette Kelleher, Karen Wittich and RDOS Area H director Brad Hope.
Winners of the RDOS $200 prize and the 50/50 draw were both from the Princeton Volunteer Fire Brigade. Captain Jamie McLeod and Deputy Chief Rob Banks both donated their winnings towards the restoration of the Bickle Fire Truck. $175 was raised during the evening to be donated to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
First responders honoured included representatives from: B.C. Ambulance Service, Tulameen/Coalmont Fire Department, Eastgate Fire Protection Society, Erris Volunteer Fire Association, Hayes Creek Fire and Rescue, Princeton Emergency Preparedness, Princeton Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR), Princeton Volunteer Fire Brigade, Princeton Highway Extrication Society and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Princeton RCMP).
The evening was brought to a close with Legion president Jim Turner extending his thanks to Sandi Lawlor and all guests. “This took alot to get together, thank you Sandi, and to all the first responders—keep up the good work.”