On August 1st, two separate events will honor the professionals who serve Hancock County. "Blue, Red and First Responders Day" is the result of a grass-roots effort spearheaded by local citizens and officials. Meanwhile, 300 area educators are expected to attend the annual Hancock Chamber Education Committee Appreciation Dinner.
On Monday, August 1st, a grass-roots effort to build community and show appreciation for first responders coincides with the annual Teachers Appreciation Dinner hosted by the Hancock Chamber.
"Blue, Red and First Responders Day" offers free breakfast and lunch to all police, fire, emergency management and ambulance professionals working in Hancock County. The event will be held at the Bay St. Louis Community Center on Blaize Avenue.
350 - 450 attendees are expected and organizers say they'll be taking home gift bags and door prizes. Breakfast will be served from 7:30am - 10am and lunch will be served from 11:30 - 1pm.
The event is the brainchild of paralegal Vicki Ladner, who works for local attorney Brehm Bell. She said the idea occurred to her when she was recently pulled into a social media discussion. Ladner says she repeatedly asserted that divisiveness and violence could be offset by local actions to build community. Then she realized that she had the ability to do just that.
"Why am I just saying it on Facebook?" she remembers thinking. "I can be making a difference."
"I feel like our community is different from a lot of places," says Ladner. "By coming together now, maybe other areas can follow our lead and start their own efforts to help build bridges."
Those wishing to volunteer for the event may call any of the numbers on the flyer below. Donations for door prize gifts and gift bags may be dropped off at the Hancock County Tourism Visitors Center in the historic Bay St. Louis Depot through Saturday, July 30th.
Later in the day on August 1st, the Hancock Chamber Education Committee will award close to $5,000 in classroom grants and recognize 300 educators with hundreds of door prizes donated by area businesses to “Celebrate and Honor Our Teaching Stars” during the 10th Annual Teacher Appreciation Dinner at Hancock High School.
“If you are an educator and you live or teach in Hancock County schools, whether private, parochial, public, career technical or at an institution of higher learning, this is your open invitation to attend this event,” said Raymunda Barnes, chairman of the Hancock Chamber Education Committee and Assistant Vice President of the Hancock Center of Pearl River Community College.
Teachers should arrive at 4:30pm to visit exhibitor booths that offer information and services useful to teachers, students and classrooms. The program begins at 5:30pm, which will include a Mississippi catfish dinner with all the fixings. Each year, the catfish is sponsored by the Silver Slipper Casino & Hotel and fried by a team led by Jimmie Ladner with other elected officials and community leaders. Recipients of the grants will be announced that support enhancements for science, math and technology programs.
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