Community members put on ‘first responders appreciation celebration’

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Community members came together on Sunday to give praise to a few local heroes in the Macon-Bibb—fire fighters and members of law enforcement.

“Instead of us only acknowledging things when they go wrong, let’s acknowledge the thousands of law enforcement as well as the fire fighters that are doing great things in our community,” said organizer Merritt Johnson.

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What started as an ode to educators has now expanded to a fun filled function for Macon-Bibb’s first responders.

“In the past, we did several events with the teachers. We did teacher appreciation where we invited the teachers in Middle Georgia to just celebrate them,” he said.

Now in its fifth year, groups like Macon’s 9 Entertainment and Commissioner Al Tilman’s Unity-N-Community, Inc. helped make Sunday’s celebration at the Buck Melton Center one all about the people keeping city streets safe.



“A lot of people don’t know that we do put our lives on the line every day police officers and fire department and so this.”

Corporal Jerel Sapp with the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department is one of those people.

“It’s just a nice occasion, gathered my family and figured I’d come out–joining for the first time and so far I’m enjoying myself. I got a free bag.”

They handed out bags with prizes and gifts, served food and drinks, had music provided by Blazin’ 92.3, and of course what’s a celebration without games?

“We’re going to play games and you know just celebrate them and let them know there are people in the community that care.”

Care to say ‘thank you’ and go beyond words this time for those brave heroes in the community who go beyond the call of duty every day.

Johnson says he hopes that next year they’ll have an even bigger turn out for the ‘first responders appreciation celebration’ and they’re looking forward to planning it.