Church honors emergency personnel
Barbara Kehm passes out "cakes and napkins and whatever else" during the emergency services breakfast.
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Albrightsville held a recognition breakfast for emergency personnel on Saturday. Ron Keppler, president of the church council, said it is to honor local fire, police, Quick Response teams and emergency responders. Those from both Albrightsville and Lake Harmony units were invited.
It is the first time the church has held a breakfast, an idea taken from St. Peter the Fisherman Church of Lake Harmony which held an appeciation event last year.
"We thought it was a great idea so why not?" Keppler said. "It is a 'thank you so much' for what they do by their dedication and volunteerism."
The menu consisted of pancakes and sausage with doughnuts and cakes. There was juice and coffee, and many willing waiters quick to provide refills of food or beverages.
Unfortunately, the event coincided with a training exercise that many of those invited had to attend.
Pastor Doug Holtz was unable to be present because he was at Bear Creek Camp. Keppler said the church is more than pleased with him after his first year. He described the Holtz children, Karl and Olivia, as "balls of fire," and said the family is musically inclined. The pastor plays seven instruments.
Holtz encourages the use of the outdoor pavilion where the breakfast was being served and outdoor worship services are scheduled Saturdays, 5 p.m.
"We want to thank the personnel for their dedication, service, volunteerism and keeping us safe," Keppler said.
Joe Protasiewicz, police chief at Kidder Township, said he very much appreciates the recognition. "We have good rapport with the church. We consider them friends and neighbors. They are our friends," he said.
Barbara Kehm, who was helping with the waitressing duties, said she thinks it is nice. "They help us a lot. We should thank them. They are a great bunch, great community members," she said.
"It's a nice idea, nice to see someone actually recognize us. The people who are here cooking get out and support our events," said Fire Chief Bruce Berger.
Albrightsville President Rich Smallenburg thought the event was "very nice." He said the company is going to add three bays to the firehouse and that it will require a lot of fundraisers. The increasing local population requires more equipment.
Keppler, standing in for the pastor, said "Thank you to each of you for your service to the community. We hope you enjoyed breakfast."
He requested a round of applause for Madelyn Getz who coordinated the event.