Local Business thanks first responders - NBC40.net

Local Business thanks first responders

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In the spirit of giving thanks, members of one local community showed their appreciation for first responders who put themselves in harms way for the safety of others following Hurricane Sandy in the form of a free dinner.

Wednesday's Hurricane Sandy appreciation dinner at the Point Diner,  was made possible with the help of Water Watch international, The Explorers Club and the Food Network's Extreme Chef winner Terry French.

To them, it's just a simple way of saying thank you to first responders and their families.

"These people represent the best in humanity," said dinner organizer Captain Joel S. Fogel.

"You have a variety of people here who really just out of the goodness of human nature decided that they had to do something to help everyone else."

For Bill Cabiness of the Somers Point Office of Emergency Management, the dinner was an unexpected showing of gratitude.

"Like I said, we don't ask for it, usually we don't get it and you know, for somebody to go out of their way to actually create an event like this to thank us is really very nice thing for them to do," said Cabiness.

For other first responders, the dinner was just another sign of support they say the community has always showed them.

"I know the people of Somers Point and these organizations. The Point Diner and businesses have always been behind what we do and whatever emergency occurs in town. Its not a surprise but it's a wonderful feeling," said Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Neil Regina.

Dozens of first responders gathered to take part in the appreciation dinner. Dinner organizer Captain Joel S. Fogel says the idea for the dinner came from his first hand encounter with the destruction left by Sandy.

"It was extremely sad and unnerving and I said to my wife who is here today with me, I said if I'm feeling like this and these guys are doing this each day, how do they feel," said Fogel.

And while the community is thankful for their efforts, the first responders are thankful for the appreciation.

"I'm immensely thankful that the community is actually recognizing so many of the volunteers that go out there on a regular basis on a regular day and help their fellow people," said AtlantiCare paramedic Joseph Halpin.

Event organizers took the time to greet and thank the first responders and their families.

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