• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

In wake of last summer’s storm, Homemakers thank first responders for all they do

To say thank you for all they do, the Woodford County Extension Homemakers Association hosted an Appreciation Luncheon for the community’s first responders Oct. 18.

“I am so appreciative, and we all are,” said Woodford County EMT Dale Gilbert. “We absolutely have the best citizens in the world. They are just so nice to us, and so giving.”

The luncheon’s casseroles, soups, other foods and desserts were prepared and served by local homemakers.

“We were looking for a new project to do and hopefully this will be an annual event,” said Extension Homemakers Vice President Bessie Bain.

“The (first) responders put their lives on the line and really don’t get enough thanks for it,” she added. Versailles Firefighter Matt Tovar said it’s nice to be thanked for what he and other first responders do, “but I really don’t need to be thanked.”

“I like this job,” he added, “because I do have a chance to help people.”

The inspiration for an Appreciation Luncheon was the severe storm that swept through Woodford County in July, and the response of emergency service workers who cleaned up roads, removed trees and assisted people during their time of need.

Gilbert pointed out that people in the community brought meals to first responders in the aftermath of the storm, and that’s not unusual, he said.

Gilbert said he and his partner, paramedic David Monarch, were “in the middle of nowhere” along the Kentucky River helping someone who had suffered a heart attack when the storm hit. Because of the volume of emergency runs that day, he said, “Me and him didn’t go to bed for the entire 24 hours that we were on shift.”

The Extension Homemakers have six clubs in Woodford County, with close to 100 members, said Elizabeth Coots, Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. She said local homemakers give back to their community in a variety of other ways, including a backpack program to ensure less-fortunate students have school supplies.

Members of the Woodford County 4-H Culinary Club also contributed to the Appreciation Luncheon, making thank-you cards and decorating cookies for first responders, Coots said.

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