Fawn church to host event thanking first responders for their actions, sacrifice | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Fawn church to host event thanking first responders for their actions, sacrifice

Madasyn Czebiniak
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Tribune-Review file photo
Harvest Baptist Church in Fawn decorated its hillside with 2,977 flags to honor each victim of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 during a previous first responders event.
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Tribune-Review file photo
First responders stand for recognition and to receive small gifts from the kids at the Harvest Baptist Church during a previous service to honor first responders.
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Tribune-Review file photo
A Washington Township aerial fire truck with a large American flag suspended over the driveway greeted those attending a previous First Responders Service at Harvest Baptist Church in Fawn.

Parishioners at Harvest Baptist Church in Fawn see first responders as real life heroes who put their lives on the line for the safety of their communities every day.

For the past four years, the church has held an annual event to thank them for their service.

This year will be no different.

The church will host its fifth annual First Responders Day at the church July 14. The event is set for 10:30 a.m. at the church, located at 224 Harvest Lane.

“This is just one way we, as a church in the community, can say ‘thank you’ and let them know we love and support them,” the Rev. Dominic Cardamone said.

The event will consist of a service to recognize and honor first responders, a cookout meal for first responders and their families and a first responders vehicle show-and-tell in the church parking lot.

This year will be the first time a cookout will be part of the event. Cardamone said the cookout is a way to honor not only the first responders but their families.

He said first responders, in many cases, work long hours and put their lives on the line, which can be tough on their spouses and children.

“We want to let them know that, ‘Hey, we want to encourage you guys, we support you and thank you as a family for what you’re doing for your community,’” Cardamone said.

The church gives gifts to first responders who attend the appreciation day, as well as those who may not.

In the weeks leading up to the event, parishioners bring “care” packages filled with drinks and snacks to fire, police and EMS stations and provide meals or snacks for some of their administration meetings.

Cardamone said the practice not only shows appreciation, but allows parishioners to catch up with emergency responders and let them know about the event.

“It’s kind of one of the ways we just try to touch base with them, say ‘Hey, here’s a care package for your station to enjoy as you’re in and out. Here’s just some information about the event we have coming up. We’d love to have you guys be a part,’” he said.

The church each year tries to recognize specific first responders and their families.

Last year, it recognized Washington Township firefighter Matthew R. Gibbons, who died from injuries he sustained in a three-vehicle crash that occurred on June 9, 2017 on Route 66 in Washington Township, and New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw, who was fatally shot in the line of duty during a traffic stop in New Kensington on Nov. 17, 2017. Cardamone said the church was able to donate $500 to the Officer Brian Shaw Foundation.

Cardamone said the church this year plans to do something in honor of New Kensington fire Chief Ed Saliba Sr., who died recently.

“We are currently reaching out to different stations to see if they have projects we can deploy volunteers from our church to help them,” he said.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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