Dadeville residents expressed thankfulness for first responders Tuesday, and rallied together to give police and firefighters a special gift this Thanksgiving.
Mitzy Hidding, owner of Zazu’s Verandah, joined her fellow citizens and businesses on Nov. 22 in presenting Dadeville police and fire department employees with gifts totaling in the thousands of dollars.
During a regularly called city council meeting on Nov. 22, Hidding surprised 17 first responders with $250 gift cards to Renfroe’s Market as a tribute for their public service.
“We are very thankful for your service and dedication to our community and these tokens of our community appreciation are being presented our city police officers and firefighter employees, who put their lives on the line for each of us every day,” Hidding said during the Nov. 22 city council meeting.
The gift cards together amounted to $4,000, all of which came from the pockets of the ordinary Tallapoosa County people. According to the gift organizers, citizens bore the act of kindness in response to hardship within Dadeville's police force struggling with retaining police officers.
City leaders recently voted to increase pay for police officers, but Hidding and other citizens nevertheless felt encouraged to display their appreciation for first responders during the Thanksgiving holiday.
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“We hope that everybody will take five minutes and join in saying how thankful we are,” Hidding said.
In addition, both Dadeville police Chief Jonathan Floyd and fire Chief Scott Atkins received $55 gift cards as an additional token of gratitude for their leadership and service.
Floyd described the gifts for him and his employees as indicative of the Dadeville spirit and which encapsulates the generosity that defines the community he serves.
“It just goes to show what is right about the City of Dadeville. For someone to give up their time and resources to show you that they're thinking about you, especially during the holiday season, it's humbling,” Floyd said. “Chief Atkins and I have both discussed this before and that is our citizens deserve the best and that is because we have the best citizens.”
Chief Atkins concurred, adding that he and his department appreciated the validation for their efforts.
“It feels good to us to know that we are recognized and that they [the citizens] are seeing what we're doing and that we are trying our best to provide a good service for them,” Atkins said.