Troutman’s Holy Trinity Lutheran honors first responders
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Holy Trinity Lutheran’s evangelical committee and other church members honored Troutman’s first responders at a huge buffet meal on Tuesday afternoon, greeting officers with hugs and smiles at the festive entrance decorated with balloons and a handmade welcome sign created by some of the church's youngsters.
“We decided the first responders needed some appreciation,” said Evangelical Committee member Sue Welling. “We are expecting about 40 tonight, and we did it at shift change so we can catch both shifts.”
“We do like to do events like this and want to continue it in the future, maybe twice a year. They do a lot for our community but sometimes get a bad rap, so we just wanted to say thank you,” added Welling.
Lynn Noble, co-chair of the Evangelism Committee, was busy in the kitchen preparing the meal. “The dinner was Pastor (Deiter) Punt’s idea, and the evangelism committee just picked up the ball and ran with it. We purposely did it one week after the National Night Out event so we could speak to the first responders and personally invite them.”
Noble said church member Phyllis Honeycutt also placed flyers on bulletin boards at the Troutman Police Department, Fire Department, and EMS station to notify local first responders of the dinner.
With tears in her eyes, Noble explained the motivation behind the dinner. “They put their lives on the line for all of us, no matter who you are, no matter what your economic background, no matter where you go to church.”
“They respond on behalf of every citizen in this community, and I think it’s such a thankless job, especially with what we see in the national news, with officers and first responders being disrespected,” Noble continued.
“I think this a real faith-based area, more so than other areas of the country, and maybe we can set them an example,” added Noble.
Honeycutt, with a sassy smile, said of the Troutman officers enjoying their meal, “I think they’re great. Sometimes I have to correct them, but I think I’ve got them trained very well now. They are a bunch of good fellas.”
The 83-year-old Honeycutt promised to be the entertainment of the evening but cautioned “not to get up on the table this time since they are on duty!”
Troutman Police Chief Matthew Selves enjoyed the “excellent” dinner of garlic-parmesan chicken, assorted vegetables, salads, rolls, and homemade desserts. “The entertainment was good too,” Selves said, directing a grin at Honeycutt.
Events such as this are important to Selves and his officers. “We really enjoy the appreciation that they give us at this kind of event for police, fire and EMS. It really fills up our tanks so to speak, not just with food, but fills our hearts with love and support and appreciation that the community is there to support us in our jobs and what we do on a day-to-day basis.”