Public service to be honored at banquet
Firefighters and police officers in the Basehor area will receive a big thank you from the community later this month.
Members of various community organizations, along with Basehor police officers and firefighters from the Fairmount, Sherman and Stranger Township fire departments and their families will gather about 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30, at Basehor Elementary School for the 14th Annual Firefighter and Police Officer Appreciation Banquet. The banquet began as a way for the Basehor PRIDE organization to honor local firefighters during the month of October, which is also fire prevention month, volunteer event coordinator Mary Ann Mogle said.
"A couple years later they decided to honor the police officers as well because they also provide a public service," she said.
The banquet will begin with the firefighter and police officer prayer, followed by dinner and special entertainment. While the entertainment for the event has not yet been announced, a youth choir, band or strings group will most likely provide music for the crowd, Mogle said. The community will provide different parts of the meal and supplies.
"Since this is the community showing their appreciation for the firefighters and police officers, we have local organizations provide the meal," Mogle said.
Boy Scout Troop 169 will present the colors and a local vocalist will sing the National Anthem after the meal to open the awards presentation.
The fire chiefs along with Basehor police chief Terry Horner will present plaques to the Fairmount Township Firefighter of the Year, Sherman Township Firefighter of the Year, Stranger Township Firefighter of the Year and the Basehor Police Officer of the Year. The firefighters and police officers are either chosen by their chiefs or nominated by their peers for the awards. This year two police officers have been chosen to receive the Police Officer of the Year award, Basehor PRIDE chairman Chuck Wilderson said.
Wilderson also said that after all the awards are presented, the spouses of the firefighters and police officers are asked to stand to be recognized.
"We ask the spouses to stand up and get a round of applause," he said. "It's to honor the police officers and firefighters, but also the families."
The banquet will conclude with a raffle drawing for door prizes and retrieval of the colors. Other groups involved in the organization of the event and donations include the Basehor Chamber of Commerce, the city of Basehor, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Rustler's and Wrangler 4-H Clubs, Lions Club, Girl Scout Troop 1358, Gold and Youth PRIDE, Dreams Come True, Kiwanis Club and individual residents.
"It takes a lot of groups to cooperate and put this thing on," Wilderson said. "It's really a community affair to honor these men and women."
While invitations will be sent out for the dinner, Mogle said the public is welcome to attend the awards ceremony, which begins at 1:30 p.m.
For more information, contact Mogle at (913) 724-1370, ext. 28 or Wilderson at (913) 724-1056.