Local funeral homes co-host cookout for first responders

A group of local funeral homes recently hosted a cookout for first responders. From left, Lt. Shane Malone, Fire Fighter Brad Henley, Jerry Barnett, Alfred Dugger, and Engineer Todd York.

Late last month, Tetrick Funeral Services, Appalachian Funeral Home & Cremation Services and Woodall-Anderson & Dugger Funeral Home & Cremation Services hosted a cookout for local first responders.

The event, which was held on July 22, was held to thank the Johnson City Police Department, the Johnson City Fire Fighters Association and Washington County 911 and EMS workers. The local funeral homes wanted to show their appreciation to our first responders, who navigate the daily stress of a high-pressure job while also working on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The firefighters brought the recently restored 1928 Seagrave fire truck to the event, and several first responders cycled in and out of the cookout during their lunch breaks. David Mathes, manager of Appalachian Funeral Home & Cremation Services, served as grill master for the day, serving up 150 hamburgers and 70 hot dogs.

At the stroke of noon, a tribute and presentation were held. Mathes and Alfred Dugger, manager of Woodall-Anderson & Dugger gave a $500 donation from the funeral homes and the Tetrick family to the Junior Police Academy. This project operates strictly on donations from the community and gives young participants an overview of different units in the police department and a glimpse at the day-to-day life of a police officer.

Billy Gillenwater, manager of Tetrick Funeral Services, also presented a $500 donation to start a fund with the Johnson City Firefighters Association to aid the group in buying official dress jackets needed for the Fire Fighters Honor Guard to wear at ceremonies. The honor guard is called upon to serve at funerals of fallen firefighters at ceremonies where their service is requested.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Junior Police Academy can do so by sending a check made out to the Johnson City Police Department/Junior Police Academy to: 601 E. Main Street, Johnson City, TN 37601. For more information about the Junior Police Academy, call 423.424.6000.

Donations to the Fire Fighters Honor Guard can be made by sending a check with “Honor Guard Jacket Fund” in the memo line to: Johnson City Fire Fighters Association L-1791, 405 E. Market Street, Johnson City, TN 37601. More information is available if you call 423.282.1257.


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