Firefighters, police officers awarded at banquet
Area firefighters, police officers and their families enjoyed a meal, entertainment and awards at the 13th annual Firefighter and Police Officer Appreciation Banquet Sunday afternoon.
A large crowd packed the Basehor Elementary School gymnasium for the event, which featured the Basehor-Linwood High School Jazz Band.
"This was the largest crowd we've had," said Chuck Wilderson, a Basehor PRIDE member. "There were well over 100 guests."
A committee from the Basehor PRIDE and Gold PRIDE groups organized the event, while several community members and groups pitched in to help provide food, decorations, entertainment and awards.
The Basehor Chamber of Commerce, Basehor Rustlers 4-H Club, Boy Scout Troop 169, the city of Basehor, Dreams Come True, Pam and Joe Frazier, Girl Scouts, Kiwanis Club, Lions Club, Mary Mogle, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Youth PRIDE were among those who contributed.
The Firefighter and Police Officer Prayer was read before the meal and the band played while guests enjoyed a large spread including fried chicken, green beans, salad and desserts.
Boy Scout Troop 169 presented the colors and the band played the National Anthem before the awards ceremony. The Police Officer of the Year award was presented to Thomas Wiles. Basehor police Chief Terry Horner also honored four new part-time officers: Rachel Norman, John Justice, Frank Pflumm and Michael Joslyn with certificates.
A plaque was presented to a firefighter from each of the three volunteer fire departments that serve Basehor. The Fairmount Township Firefighter of the Year was Capt. Mark Linville. Eric Attebery was selected for the award from Sherman Township, and Brian Baumgartner was honored from Stranger Township.
Firefighter Jim Dickey from Fairmount Fire Department said the banquet was a nice gesture from the community.
"I think it's very nice that they honor the firefighters and police officers that work to keep the city safe," he said.
A door prize drawing for children and adults was held at the end of the banquet, and Wilderson also recognized the spouses of the firefighters and police officers.
"Those guys put in all kinds of volunteer hours," he said. "It's a privilege to hold something to honor them."