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A Big 'Thank You' to First Responders

July 25, 2002

The message was loud and clear. "Thank you for all you do every day."

That was message that Ourisman World of Ford Alexandria on Richmond Highway sent to the firefighters and police personnel throughout region last Thursday. Over a 12 hour period they provided free food and entertainment to any first responder who stopped by.

"This is an excellent display of community outreach and participation," said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Battalion Chief, Eric Walker. "It's good to be appreciated."

John Mercer, sales manager at Ourisman and former Emergency Management Team member in Gaston, GA, was the inspiration behind this corporate thank you. "It's working out very well," he assessed.

"We're accomplishing what we set out to do, to thank them for their everyday vigilance. They make the difference," Mercer emphasized.

Ourisman's general manager, Lou King, said, "This is the first time we have done anything like this and we are really excited. The whole notion behind this is to say thank you to them from the whole community. This is to give back something to them."

Her enthusiasm was buttressed by Sherrie Edelcamp, executive administrator at Ourisman of Alexandria, "I think this is really doing some good. It's just great and they seem to really appreciate it."

MORE THAN 100 firefighters, EMS personnel, and police stopped by to enjoy the food and entertainment throughout the day. From 3 to 5 p.m. the crowd was entertained by personalities from Classic Rock 94.7. This was followed by the Johnny Artis Band from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Firefighters, police, and EMS personnel from Alexandria, Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the District of Columbia had been invited, according to Mercer.