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Honoring local heroes

The tables at the luncheon were decorated with thank you letters written by the students in Nicole Brandt's kindergarten class that the attendees were given to take home. (Nicole Vik/Enterprise)1 / 2
Members of the Park Rapids Fire Department, Bob Meier (left) and Kyle Little enjoyed the Local Heroes Luncheon put on by the Riverside United Methodist Church Council and Coborn's. (Nicole Vik/Enterprise)2 / 2

The Second Annual Heroes Lunch was held at Riverside United Methodist Church Thursday afternoon, honoring local heroes including law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and first responders.

Lunch was prepared and served by members of the Riverside United Methodist Church Council and donated by Coborn's.

"Last year we heard about it through other communities and Coborn's was looking at a way to do a heroes lunch as well," Nicole Brandt, one of the event coordinators, said.

Brandt's kindergarten class had a hero day where the kids dressed up as heroes and prepared thank you letters to be given to the attendees at the event.

"I told them, 'I'm bringing them to real life heroes tomorrow,'" she said. "They gasped, 'You know real life heroes?' These guys are amazing people to them. It's important."

Brandt added that in her class this year, she has two students whose parents are firefighters and one student whose parent is a police officer.

According to Bert Swanson, chairman of the church council, there were 25 local heroes who attended the luncheon last year and this year they were hoping for 40 attendees.

"It was well-received last year and I'm just glad we could do it again this year," Swanson said. "We just want them to enjoy each other and show them our appreciation for putting their lives on the line everyday."

Unfortunately, as lunchtime neared there were two emergency calls that the local heroes had to respond to, reinforcing that the job is never done and the call can come at inconvenient times.

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