Recognizing another year of faithful service by emergency personnel to the Manhattan community, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is serving them Wednesday in a show of thanks.
The church is host its fourth annual Emergency Personnel Appreciation Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. “This is all about saying thank you because we appreciate everything everybody does,” Father Tom Miles said.
Parishioners served free breakfast, lunch and dinner for Riley County emergency personnel, including the Manhattan Fire Department, Riley County police and fire departments, Kansas State University Police and First Responders and Emergency Services.
It’s an act that the whole church gets involved in. About 40 parishioners contributed homemade dishes and the church’s children decorated cards to be placed on the table. The cards show their appreciation as well as their knowledge of the law. “Click it or ticket,” one card said. “Don’t text and drive,” another card said.
Eleanor Blaker, parish administrator, said she has enjoyed seeing the event grow. The church served 60 county emergency personnel in its first year and 80 last year. “Yeah, it’s a lot of work but a lot of fun,” Blaker said.
Alex Horak, Riley County EMS paramedic, said he enjoyed the church’s hospitality. “It’s really nice to be appreciated and recognized in this community,” he said.
The meal was especially appreciated by Micah Hydeman and Andy Rombeck from the Manhattan Fire Department. The two had just completed a 24-hour shift.
Hydeman, who has worked at MFD for five-and-a-half years, has been to the appreciation day every year. “Every year, it gets better and better,” he said.