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How Forsyth County showed appreciation to first responders
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Forsyth County came together in the wake of 9/11, showing a renewed patriotic spirit that continues today, 17 years later.

Three local emergency services supporters provided appreciation events as the community looked back on 9/11 this week.  

Billy Howell Ford held their seventh annual first responder appreciation luncheon at the dealership on 9/11, feeding over 500 first responders.

Owner Brenda Howell said they do it to support people who do a tough job in our community.

“We do it to tell them how much we appreciate them, and how blessed we are to have them in our community,” Howell said. “…We’re grateful to have them come by.” 
A few days later, Cory Coulter, a 9/11 survivor who lives in the community, provided lunch for firefighters by picking up their tab at Rooster’s Café in Cumming.

Division Chief Jason Shivers said that firefighters appreciated the gesture.

“After a little over 20 years here, the generosity of Forsyth County never ceases to amaze me,” Shivers said. “We’re fortunate to be part of this community.” 

Then on Wednesday, Northwest Exterminating also provided a first responder lunch, setting up a picnic with all the trimmings at Fire Station 1, and feeding any first responder who was able to drop by.

Austin Milligan with Northwest Exterminating said their company was glad to be able to show their appreciation.

“We’re very community-focused,” Milligan said. “We’ve been blessed in many ways and want to give back to the community. What better way than to show our first responders how much we appreciate what they do for us.” 
Shivers said that having three different lunch events worked out well since firefighters typically work one full 24-hour shift at a time.

“We were able to coordinate these three events on opposing shift days so that all three of our fire and EMS shifts were able to attend one,” Shivers said.
Wednesday was also the day The Benefit Fund, an organization that helps the families of firefighters in Forsyth County, was presented a check for money raised during a 9/11 stadium climb event at West Forsyth High School.

The benefit fund was given a check for $571.50, exactly half the money raised.  The other half was donated directly to West Forsyth to support programs there.