On Friday, Sept. 11, Haylee Root and Carole Scott from The Merchant organized and presented donations to many front-line heroes.

Front-line heroes included police and sheriff’s departments, dispatch, EMT, Air Evac team, the DA’s office and firemen.

In an opening ceremony, Haylee Root welcomed everyone who came to the event.

“We love everything that you all do in our community,” Root said. “Regardless of what’s going on around the world. In Duncan we are proud of our law enforcement, our fire, our EMTs, our health department, healthcare workers, air Evac — we just love all you guys. Even our Safe Center workers are here today.”

Front lines are not just law enforcement and healthcare, but so much more.

“We forget sometimes, how many people are on the front lines,” Root said. “We appreciate you so much.”

Root thanked sponsors for feeding the front lines which included The Merchant, Tilley Pressure Test, Faith Church, Viridian Coffee, Duncan Regional Hospital, DAEDF, Redden Insurance, Bridges Realty - Leach & Sullivan, Whitten-McEntire Insurance, Friends of Marcus McEntire, Liz and Brian Stewart, Jessica Garvin for Senate, Chisholm Corner, Combest Family, Main Street Duncan, Homeland and Eclectic Echo.

“Carole was the ringleader,” Root said. “This was her idea, she put it all together over the last couple months.”

For the presentation, Mayor Ritchie Dennington and Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, were in attendance as they presented checks for $1,000 donation to the police department, a $1,000 donation to the fire department and a $500 donation to the safe center.

“The whole purpose of this fundraiser is so we could have a donation today to help you guys with your fundraiser, such as Shop with a Cop and things with that nature,” Root said.

McEntire seconded the notion, saying, “We really appreciate you.”

“The reason everybody got behind it is because we support you guys 100%,” McEntire said. “We appreciate what you do and this is a minor gesture to serve you guys lunch, but it’s super important to us.”

With this year being a hard year for fundraising, Root and Scott both wanted to help give these groups a little bit extra.

Scott said: “(The policemen) take families out during the Christmas holidays. They find families that are really in need of support and they will make sure they have food and gifts for their children. Our local firemen do the same thing as well as our Safe Center — there’s families there that they have to take in.”

Root said they were so proud of the community for coming together.

Among many business sponsors, Tilley Trucking/Pressure Test went “above and beyond” helping to put all of this together, according to Scott.

“They did not hesitate,” Scott said. “They said, ‘we will be out there with canopies, tables, the smoker and we’re going to handle it from that point.’ They did. United Way jumped in with help and prepared the desserts.”

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