BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An inaugural reception recognized first responders from across West Feliciana parish Saturday evening at Hemingbough.
West Fel First Responder Appreciation Night was the idea of Hemingbough events coordinator Kori Rabalais.
“Growing up as a military daughter and with a dad who retired from Homeland Security, I had a burden on my heart during Hurricane Barry when I heard about all of our guys and gals who were out on the roads,” Rabalais said. “And I realized we’d never had any sort of event like this to thank our first responders.”
The reception was open to any public safety employees who work in the parish, along with their families. Attendees included police officers, sheriff’s deputies, paramedics, and employees from public works and the Emergency Operations Center.
Rabalias said the night was meant as a “humble thank you to unsung heroes.”
“I can’t tell you how many people came up to me saying that this was the first time that they had ever been to any kind of appreciation night, which was shocking to me, so hopefully this is the start of an annual thing,” she said.
Community sponsors included Temple Design, Mia Sophia Florist, The Francis Southern Table & Bar, Cafe Petra, El Mejor Bar & Grill, Demco, and Audubon Market.
Over a dozen other businesses provided door prizes.
Rabalais also thanked the many volunteers who gave their time and energy.
“The entire town – first of all, they rally for everything – the entire town rallied around this event, and they could not have been more excited to celebrate our first responders,” she added.