American Tobacco produced its inaugural First Responder Appreciation Day on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. Led by Event Professional Fernanda Araujo, American Tobacco set out to personally thank over 600+ Durham City and Durham County First Responders for their service by providing them with a drive thru BBQ lunch.
American Underground and the Durham Bulls also pitched in to help American Tobacco sponsor the event.
“The event was open to the Bulls to help with as well,” said DBBC Ticket Sales ManagerBrian Simokra. “So a few of us volunteered to pass out lunches as well. Despite the rain, we had fun. It was a great idea to help give back to the first responders who give up so much for us.”
Durham First Responder Offices Included in the day were:
- Durham City Police Department
- Durham City Fire Department
- Durham County Sheriff’s Office
- Durham County EMS
- ‘North Carolina State highway Patrol
- Duke University Police
- NC Central University Police
Thrills from the Grill provided the grab-and-go lunch which included chopped BBQ, green beans, scalloped potato and roll. ATC provided a special branded lunch bag to handle other lunch essentials to include bottled water, cutlery, a cookie and apple. First Responders could drive thru on Blackwell Street between the American Tobacco campus and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The ATC staff stuffed over 700 lunch bags the day prior in preparation for the long lunch line that was expected.
WRAL-TV and WRAL.com will get in on the fun on Wednesday, September 28th, sponsoring WRAL’s First Responders Appreciation Day in partnership with Hardee’s. Each lunch bag included a notice from Hardees and WRAL about the Wednesday meal as well as other coupons provided by American Tobacco restaurants.
Volunteers from ATC, American Underground, Durham Bulls, DPAC and Aloft Durham Downtown assembled in the DPAC VIP lot, despite the overcast weather. Volunteers shouted out well wishes and Wool E. Bull provided high fives to First Responders as they kept the line moving while distributing the hot lunch. American Tobacco created a red, white and blue patriotic theme to include tents, balloons, signs, and special t-shirts for volunteers.
American Tobacco looks to make First Responder Appreciation Day an annual event.
Thanks to ATC’s Valerie Ward for this capcom scoop & for these capcom photos. Thanks also to DBBC’s Brian Simorka for contributions and to Simorka & DBBC’s Walmer Medina for photos as noted.
SLIDESHOW: American Tobacco First Responders Appreciation Day