OAKHURST — Lately there have been nearly innumerable reasons to give thanks and praise to our area’s first responders, and now organizers have planned a new event to do so, side by side, over dinner.
All mountain area residents are invited to the first annual Mountain Area Safety Services Awards Dinner at the Oakhurst Elks Lodge on Saturday, Oct. 26. Social Hour, including a no-host bar, starts at 5 p.m. and dinner begins at 6 p.m.
Organizers at the Elks encourage the community to come and show appreciation for all our local public safety agency members who so often go far beyond the requirements of their duties to serve and protect us.
Elk Dale Miller helped come up with the idea to honor first responders with a dinner, after he came across his old scrapbook with a clipping from circa 1967, recounting the time he was honored as Firefighter of the Year for Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley.
Miller was a firefighter for 40 years and keenly felt the absence of a local awards dinner to honor the first responder community right here in the mountains.
Miller brought the idea up to the Elks group and they enthusiastically agreed it was a good one. Member John Corrigan, another retired firefighter, has a team of men ready to do the cooking. Ladies of the Elks has volunteered to underwrite the event.
The Elks sent out letters requesting Safety Service Award nominees from five agencies, including Sierra Ambulance, California Highway Patrol, Forest Service, Madera County Sheriff and the combined services of Madera County Fire Department and Cal Fire.
The letters were submitted to department heads of each organization who will return their suggestions later this month. The Elks will honor each designated award recipient with dinner and a plaque, and each recipient may bring a guest.
While this is the first time the Safety Services Awards Dinner will be held for mountain area first responders, the Elks believe it won’t be the last. Miller says they are counting on residents to come out in droves to support the people who support the community through their work and sacrifice every day.
The cost for a delightful meal of Chicken Cordon Bleu with all the trimmings is just $12.
Reservations are required. For tickets contact the Elks Lodge at 559-683-2717 or Dale Miller at 559-683-0819.