Keeping with the patriotic spirit of Sept. 11, all of the businesses and churches at the corner of La Cañada and Magee came together for the second annual First Responders Appreciation Block Party.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents from Mountain View Retirement Village, Mountain View Care Center, La Cañada Care Center and employees from Ascension Lutheran Church and School and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church gathered at Mountain View Retirement Village to thank first responders and enjoy a barbeque lunch and musical entertainment.
Throughout the party, personnel from the Mountain View First District, Southwest Ambulance, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, Golder Ranch Fire District, and other emergency services gathered in the shade to enjoy the food, which was provided to them.
Donna Jacobs, who is the general manager at the Mountain View Retirement Village, feels that Sept. 11 is a great day to honor those who often come to help the residents and employees on the corner.
“They take such good care of us, we felt what a great Sept. 11 it is to let them know and say thank you for taking such good care of us,” Jacobs said. “They help us feel safe and secure not only in our homes but in the neighborhood, too, knowing we have such great people out there.”
The event was kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance, a color guard flag ceremony, the National Anthem, and a few words from Oro Valley Vice Mayor Lou Waters and Mountain Vista Fire District Fire Chief Ed Wilkerson.
On the menu for the day, which first responders came, sat in the shade and enjoyed, were ribs, pulled pork, beans, coleslaw, and some potato salad. There was also a musical performance by Gabriel Ayala Trio, the St. Mark’s Remembrance Singers, and children from Ascension’s Lutheran School.
During the event, children were also given tours of the Pima Regional SWAT team’s vehicles and robot, along with one of the main fire engines from Mountain Vista Fire District.
“We are thrilled to be able to do it,” Jacobs said. “It takes a lot of work, but each year we know it will get a little easier because we learn from what we could have done better. We are already looking forward to next year.
“As long as there are people, thre are going to be first responders.”