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A way to say “Thank You”… Sycamore Springs Senior Living host chili cookoff for local First Responders

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
They are the first ones to come in the event of a catastrophic event in the lives of communities residents be it a natural disaster, fire, illness, or the need for protection.

Most of the time there is little recognition for those efforts however that was not the case on Saturday at the Sycamore Springs Senior Living Facility in Elizabethton as First Responders were recognized for their service to the community with a Chili Cookoff.

Those First Responders include the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, Elizabethton Police Department, Elizabethton Fire Department, West Carter Volunteer Fire Department, Central Volunteer Fire Department, Watauga
Volunteer Fire Department, Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Hampton Volunteer Fire Department, Roan Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, Elk Mills Volunteer Fire Department, Carter County Rescue Squad, Walters State Police Academy, Carter County Constables, and 911 Dispatch.

A plaque was presented to each to show appreciation for their dedication to Carter County.

The idea to recognize the First Responders came from the facilities Executive Director Rhonda Malone and her husband, Craig. Both are active members of the West Carter County Volunteer Fire Department where Craig serves as a Lieutenant.

“Today is the day that we celebrate our First Responders and just say, “Thank You” for everything they do for our community and our residents.
It’s a chili cookoff as a way of saying thank you.

Malone and her husband cooked the chili which featured a mild chili, chicken chili, and a three-alarm firefighter chili with a posted statement for policemen to beware due to the heat of the chili in a fun gesture.

Many times the community doesn’t know what these First Responders go through when they respond to these calls at all hours and days of the week to serve the community.

“They give a lot of their life for us and they go through a lot to protect us and do for us,” Rhonda Malone stated.”I am also in the fire department as well with my husband and I know everything that he goes through.”

Craig added, “You have a group of guys that stop at nothing. Quit is not in them. It’s just a part of life and you just don’t stop.”

According to Malone, flyers were sent out along with a message page to all the First Responders to invite them to come and enjoy the chili and bring their fire trucks for the residents to enjoy.

They were hoping for a large turnout to participate in the event and enjoy a free lunch.

Malone added that it was always nice for the residents to be able to enjoy these activities.

“They are eating lunch right now but when they are finished they are going to come out and look at the fire trucks,” Malone said of the residents. “We had all of the fire departments bring their trucks so they could come out and see them. It’s another fun thing for the residents to do.”