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The First Responder's Appreciation and Recognition Dinner was held on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, at the Nolan County Coliseum Annex. The dinner honored the Blackwell Volunteer Fire Department, the Lake Sweetwater Volunteer Fire Department, the Maryneal Volunteer Fire Department, the Nolan Volunteer Fire Department, the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department, the Sweetwater Fire Department, the Nolan County Sheriff's Office, the Sweetwater Police Department and the Roscoe Police Department.
State Representative Susan King was in attendance and spoke to the first responders, thanking them for their service. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Grant and Olivia Madden, Lori Ortega led the crowd in the National Anthem and Mickey Hayes led the benediction.
Dinner was then served, prepared by the Sweetwater Chuck Wagon Gang. Approximately 500 people were served dinner that evening, including over 270 first responders and their families, who received a free meal. After the dinner, the different departments were introduced and recognized. Auctioneer Doug Alexander then led a live auction and silent auction activities. Proceeds from the live auction totaled $4,530 but ended up totaling $5,000 after Lone Star Ag Credit bought a cake and gave it back for re-sale and Mark Meneses, Vicki Moses and Dr. Judy Clayton purchased "invisible cakes". Proceeds from the silent auction totaled about $1,750.
Those who baked pies and cakes for the auction included Angie Davis, Ann Shirley, Carol Gotcher, Debi Wehba, Dorothy Stroman, Jane Marth, Janet Setliff, Janie Peek, JoAnn Buff, Joy Houston, Kathy Boley, Kathy Witt, Linda Freeman, Nancy Jones and Penny Adkins.
Also assisting at the event were members of the Medical Reserve Corps, Dody Barnes, Arlon Barnes, Rosemary Duncan, Andy Higdon, Carol Higdon, Larry McEachern, Lita McEachern and Carol Truitt and members of Xi Alpha Alpha Kappa, Gayle Greer, Kay Kropp, Joy Houston, Janet Setliff and Penny Adkins. First Responder's Appreciation and Recognition Dinner committee members were Gary Armstrong, Karan Bergstrom, Ann Bennett, Sherry Critz, Adalia Gardner, Mickey Hayes, Grant Madden, Jacque McCoy, Lita McEachern and Kathy Shadley.
Table sponsors included AES Wind Generation, Big Boy's Bar-B-Que, Buck's Steaks & Bar-B-Que, Dale Martin & Son Tire Company, Inc., David and Jane Carothers (Rafter B Ranch, LLC), DR. Jason Browning, First Financial Bank, Hall Law Firm, Harp Vending, Jay and Carolyn Lawrence, Kenny Maxwell Law Office, Kyle and Gail Lawrence, L.W. and Jan Davis (Rafter B Ranch, LLC), Lone Star Ag Credit, Ludlum Measurements, Maloney Drug Store, The Medicine Place, Morgan Real Estate, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Brooks, Greg Wortham, Ricky Bowman, CPA, Karan Bergstrom, Lita McEachern, Rolling Plains Rural Health Clinic, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, Ronnie and Sally Cox, Rotary Club, Steve and Jan Smith, Subway, Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce, Sweetwater Jaycees, Sweetwater Steel, Texas National Bank, Texas State Technical College, Xi Alpha Alpha Kappa-BSP and Zollie Steakley Law Firm.
Silent auction sponsors included 99 Cents Store and More, AES Wind Generation, Amole Mexican Restaurant, Casa Morales Restaurant, Dairy Queen, Dandy Western Wear, Dr. Mac and Lita McEachern, Elegance Spa and Nails, Flower Box and Gifts, Gill's Chicken, Kearney Plumbing, Latria's, Longhorn Liquor, Medicine Place gift shop, Ronnie Wehba, Karan Bergstrom, Nolan Furniture, Schlotzsky's Deli, Sweetwater Floral, Taco Bell and Vickie's Gifts.
Live auction sponsors included Big Boy's Bar-B-Que, Angie Daves, Ann Shirley, Carol Gotcher, Debi Wehba, Dorothy Stroman, Jane Martha, Janet Setliff, Janie Peek, JoAnn Buff, Joy Houston, Kathy Boley, Kathy Witt, Linda Freeman, Nancy Jones and Penny Adkins.
Special recognition was given to AES Wind Generation, Air Gas Company, Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce Staff, Sweetwater Chuck Wagon Gang, First Responder's Appreciation Dinner Committee Members, Fuller Foods who donated 400 steaks for the dinner, KXOX Radio, Nolan County Medical Reserve Corps, Lori Ortega, Nolan County Coliseum Board and Staff, State Representative Susan King, Sweetwater Floral, Sweetwater Reporter and the Sweetwater Municipal Band who provided the music for the evening.
All proceeds from the benefit will go to the departments recognized.