First Responders Dinner a success

By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer

More than 200 first responders and guests attended the 2014 First Responders Dinner held by the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce. The dinner was held February 28 at the Choctaw County Community Center.

All county first responders and one guest were invited to the dinner as an appreciation and thank you for their dedication and service to Choctaw County.

First responders include volunteer firefighters, police officers, sheriff deputies, 911 dispatchers, game wardens, highway patrolmen, MedStat-EMS staff, 4-County Electric Power Association and the Mississippi Forestry staff.

Each department was given an award for their service to Choct

The Choctaw County Sheriff’s Department was honored for their dedication, service, for putting their lives on the line to help keep citizens of Choctaw County safe and their response to emergency situations.  Sheriff Cloyd Halford presented Deputy Brandon Busby with the Deputy of the Year award. Also pictured is Rep. Joey Hood.

The Choctaw County Sheriff’s Department was honored for their dedication, service, for putting their lives on the line to help keep citizens of Choctaw County safe and their response to emergency situations. Sheriff Cloyd Halford presented Deputy Brandon Busby with the Deputy of the Year award. Also pictured is Rep. Joey Hood.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Lt. Lee Ellington-District Supervisor presented Tommy Bowman an award for Outstanding Service in 2013. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood, Lee Ellington and Tommy Bowman.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Lt. Lee Ellington-District Supervisor presented Tommy Bowman an award for Outstanding Service in 2013. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood, Lee Ellington and Tommy Bowman.

Weir Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Anthony McGee.

Weir Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Anthony McGee.

Panhandle Volunteer Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Sammy Whitmire.

Panhandle Volunteer Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Sammy Whitmire.

Simpson Volunteer Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Smith Rabun.

Simpson Volunteer Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Smith Rabun.

Ackerman Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Carroll Mewbourn.

Ackerman Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Carroll Mewbourn.

Union Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lacey Dean presents Ricky Dean their Volunteer of the Year award.

Union Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lacey Dean presents Ricky Dean their Volunteer of the Year award.

The Ackerman Police Department was honored for their dedication, service, for putting their lives on the line to help keep citizens of Ackerman safe and their response to emergency situations. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Kevin Stark.

The Ackerman Police Department was honored for their dedication, service, for putting their lives on the line to help keep citizens of Ackerman safe and their response to emergency situations. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Kevin Stark.

Bywy Volunteer Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Michael Holmes.

Bywy Volunteer Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Chief Michael Holmes.

MedStat EMS provides emergency services to Choctaw County including ambulance and helicopter. MedStat paramedics and EMTS were honored for their dedication and service to the county. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Tim Wade.

MedStat EMS provides emergency services to Choctaw County including ambulance and helicopter. MedStat paramedics and EMTS were honored for their dedication and service to the county. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and Tim Wade.

4-County Electric Power Association Linemen were honored for their sacrifice and dedication to the citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and John Shumaker.

4-County Electric Power Association Linemen were honored for their sacrifice and dedication to the citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured are Rep. Joey Hood and John Shumaker.

Reform Volunteer Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured is Melinda Newlin-First Responders Dinner committee member, and Josh McBride.

Reform Volunteer Fire Department was honored for their service and dedication to protecting citizens of Choctaw County. Pictured is Melinda Newlin-First Responders Dinner committee member, and Josh McBride.

aw County citizens.

 

North American Coal-Red Hills Mine and the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce funded the award plaques.

The Bucket List of Louisville entertained the crowd that night with their classic country, Southern rock and Southern gospel music.

The Bucket List of Louisville entertained the crowd of first responders during the annual First Responders Appreciation Dinner. The Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce sponsors this event.

The Bucket List of Louisville entertained the crowd of first responders during the annual First Responders Appreciation Dinner. The Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce sponsors this event.

District 35 Rep. Joey Hood served as emcee for the night helping announce awards, door prizes and more.

Also on the program, was the presentation of colors by Specialist Joshua Horton and Sargent Christopher Newlin of the 2nd 114th field Artillery Battalion, MS Army National Guard.

The opening ceremony at the First Responders Appreciation Dinner.

The opening ceremony at the First Responders Appreciation Dinner.

Courtney Coleman performed the national anthem and the prayer was by Paul Newlin.

Everyone enjoyed the catered meal by Pap’s Place, compliments of Southern Company Services at the Red Hills Operation plant.

Amanda McBride, Chamber of Commerce Board president, gave closing remarks.

Sponsors for the First Responders Dinner were Southern Company-Red Hills Operations, Wal-Mart of Kosciusko, North American Coal-Red Hills Mine, Taylor Machine Works and the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber would like to give a special thanks to Forget-Me-Not Florist for decorating the stage and foyer, Children of God Pottery Studio- a ministry of French Camp Academy for providing the table décor and all of the door prize donors.

Thank you to the Distinguished Young Women participants sponsored by the 20th Century Club, for helping serve the meal.

The First Responders Dinner Committee of the Chamber of Commerce planned the dinner. Committee members include Melinda Newlin, Debbie Bunkelman, Amanda McBride, Jamie McHan, Donna McKay and Carroll Mewbourn.

If anyone is interested in planning the 2015 First Responders Dinner please contact the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce.