With COVID-19 adding new problems to old ones, first responders are busier than ever. It can be easy to take their service for granted, but Rittenhouse Village of Portage wanted to make sure first responders were recognized for keeping Portage and nearby communities safe.
Rittenhouse Village of Portage decided to host a Heroes Lunch in front of their facility. Rittenhouse staff set up tables and chairs in the carport, making sure to leave distance between each seat. First responders were invited to spend time with one another and enjoy some tasty summer barbeque.
Senior Lifestyle Counselor Danielle Balek is glad Rittenhouse could express its gratitude for how first responders have served the community in a tangible way.
"They help us often with our residents,” Balek said. “With COVID and the way our world is, we all need to appreciate each other. I feel that they appreciate us and we want to show them we feel the same.”
The event was catered by Scooter’s BBQ, which offered first responders and Rittenhouse staff BBQ sandwiches, potato salad, cookies, and more. Balek reached out to Scooter’s BBQ when looking for a caterer because of a personal connection. When Balek learned that one of their staff members was dating the son of the owners of Scooter’s BBQ, she decided they would be the perfect caterers for the Heroes Lunch.
Scooter and Mary Holloway were happy to receive Danielle’s invitation and accepted it right away. Scooter’s BBQ is a family business and the Holloways find enjoyment in serving people their food that stems from an old family recipe.
“We’ve been doing it for a few years,” Scooter Holloway said. “It’s been fantastic and now we get to come here and do it for first responders. We have had great responses. The feedback makes us want to go and do more events like this.”
An array of first responders sat down for lunch together, including nurses, firefighters, and police officers. Dennis Meyers of the Portage Police Department said that the barbeque served at the lunch was delicious.
Lisa Duncan of the Portage Police Department said that she was glad not only for the food, but also for the chance to unwind and be out in the community.
“It’s nice to be out with people at a time when you can talk to them under happy circumstances,” Duncan said. “We love to get out into the community, meet people, and see friendly faces.”
Rittenhouse staff were not the only representatives of senior care present at the event. There were a couple of tables set up where other senior care businesses were available to engage with first responders.
A transitional care coordinator from Health Resource Solutions (HRS), Jenna Wheeler, said she was looking forward to meeting people in the community and meeting all of the workers that take care of HRS patients. Community liaison from Harbor Light Hospice, Marriza Negrete was happy to help Rittenhouse with the event.
“We have a great partnership with Rittenhouse Village of Portage,” Negrete said. “We do whatever we can do to help our referral sources and show them the support through community outreach and events such as this.”
Mary Joe Jamie, Vice President of Operations at FirstLight Home Care, said that she was happy to interact with first responders at the Heroes Lunch.
“We are honored to help pay for this and engage with them so they can know as community members what resources are out there for the elderly,” Jamie said.
To learn more about the businesses at this event, visit the links below.
Rittenhouse Village at Portage: https://www.rittenhousevillages.com/senior-living/in/portage/rittenhouse-village-at-portage/
Scooter’s BBQ: https://www.facebook.com/scooterbarbque/
Harbor Light Hospice: https://www.harborlighthospice.com/
FirstLight Home Care: https://www.firstlighthomecare.com