The Laurel Chapel Christian Church held a cookout on August 25 to celebrate volunteer firefighters. Music, grilled food, and cornhole were presented to the firefighters and their families. For children, there was an inflatable water slide leading to a kiddie pool.
"We had thought: 'what could we do to bless these people who go out there and risk their lives for us every single day'," said Derek Baker, preacher at the Laurel Chapel Christian Church. "We want to give them a big thank you," he concluded.
Local businesses sponsored the cookout. They provided the finances to operate the event. Sponsors also contributed to the raffle, which awarded volunteers with gift cards throughout the day. The celebration concluded with a $500 award gifted to a firefighter.
Jimmy Anders -- who volunteers for Baldrock Fire and Rescue with his two sons, Tyler Anders and Joey MacIntosh -- said he appreciated the food and raffle, but being a firefighter is just a job that needs to be done.
"It's a civic duty," he explained. Anders added that events like this are important because they encourage firemen across Laurel County to form camaraderie. "I think it's good for the fire departments to get out and meet up," he said.
Baker hopes to expand the event next year, citing live music as a possible inclusion. He wishes to host events commemorating the military and the police department as well.