For the first time, the Rotary Club of Longboat Key is offering a limited number of tickets to residents for their first responder appreciation event on May 5.
It’s not often that Longboat Key residents can meet and chat with first responders in a casual setting.
But when the Rotary Club of Longboat Key recognized that not much was being done to thank the island’s first responders, members thought of a solution.
“Our role is service above self and to address needs that aren’t being addressed in another way on the island or in the world,” event organizer Nancy Rozance said.
Two years ago, the club hosted the first RESPONSE event, “recognizing emergency service personnel on Sunday event,” at Bay Isles Beach Club for first responders and their families.
Since then, the event has only been for the Rotary Club and first responders, but after last year’s event, Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming and Longboat Key Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi asked the Rotary Club if they could work together to allow first responders to meet with the public in a non-emergency setting.
The club decided a good solution would be to invite the public to the RESPONSE event. Now, a limited number of tickets are open for residents to purchase in advance of the event.
From 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, the club will host its third annual RESPONSE event at Bayfront Park.
The festivities will really kick off around 12:30 p.m. when the police and fire departments will battle it out and compete in volleyball, tug of war and a kayak race, called “guns versus hoses.”
In addition to the games, lunch will be offered and will include tacos, hamburgers and hot dogs and will be finished off with a visit from Sunny Days Ice Cream Truck. Live music will be performed throughout the event, and residents will have the chance to meet and mingle with first responders and their families.
“(I’m excited) to engage the public and to recognize the first responders on Longboat Key,” Rozance said.
Following the games, the Rotary Club will give two “Service Above Self” awards to a person from both the fire and police departments that the chiefs choose.
For residents interested in attending, tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at Fidelity Bank, 5390 Gulf of Mexico Drive. For more information, call Rozance at 383-5659.