Over 300 first responders who serve Douglas County and the city of Douglasville received a hearty meal, a time for fellowship and a whole lot of appreciation from a local business and its vendors Wednesday.

The reasoning behind the grilled barbecue and fixings lunch for first responders by Metro Garage Doors all came down to a quote from the Scriptures: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13, according to employee Krissy Lindsay, who helped organize the event.

"This is exactly what we ask of our first responders," said Lindsay. "Police, the armed services, firefighters, EMTs and the National Guard put their lives on the line for their friends and for strangers every day of their lives. Metro Garage Doors, Insulation and Fireplaces wants to give a little bit back."

She said, "The owner, Derrick Thompson, came up with the idea for this in light of everything that has been going on. He wanted to let our local law enforcement and fire and emergency personnel know that we stand behind them."

Thompson, who has owned and operated the local, family-owned business since 1978, said he was humbled by the ability to do something to show appreciation to the men and women in public safety.

"I was born and raised in this community and this community has been good to me," he said. "This must be a difficult time for our first responders and I wanted to do something for them."

Cpl. Mike Neumeyer from the Douglasville Police Department said, "It means a lot to know we have the support of the community we serve. It lets us know that the people we serve appreciate our service."

Friends, family, employees and vendors all stepped up to make the event a success, according to Jeremy Wilson, Metro Garage Doors operations manager. Vendors and others from the community donated promotional items to stuff gift bags for the first responders and drawings were held for door prizes. The company also donated boxes of food to stock the fire stations' galleys.

Douglas County Fire Chief Scott Spencer said,"The Douglas County Fire/EMS Department is proud to be part of a community that supports public safety. The food goods that were donated to all 10 firehouses in the county is greatly appreciated. We'd like to thank Metro Garage Doors for a great time of food and fellowship on Sept. 21. We truly do appreciate it."

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