Ministerial Association to host service honoring first responders

Event to be held at 9 a.m. on Feb. 12 in Payne Park

Sarasota County first responders attend a 9/11 ceremony in Venice. File photo
Sarasota County first responders attend a 9/11 ceremony in Venice. File photo

The Sarasota Ministerial Association will hold a service in Payne Park on Friday, Feb. 12, during which government representatives, businesspeople and “members of the social service and faith communities will form a ‘thank you line’” to present commemorative coins to the community’s first responders, the Association has announced.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude about 9:45 a.m. in the park, located at 2050 Adams Lane, directly across from the Sarasota Police Department, a news release says.

“This celebration will proclaim, ‘Sarasota is thankful for you!’ the release notes. “These are people [who] put their lives in harm’s way every day. It’s not something they do. It’s something they are!” the release adds.

City and County of Sarasota law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and others in the public safety sector will be honored, the release continues.

Leaders of more than 15 organizations and local government bodies are scheduled to participate in the ceremony, including the NAACP, the City of Sarasota, the Downtown Sarasota Condo Association, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association, the 12 Judicial Circuit, Sarasota County, the Community Alliance of Sarasota County, the Sarasota Elks Lodge, the Sarasota County School Board, the Sarasota Ministerial Association, the Jewish Federation of Sarasota and Manatee, and chaplains and officers representing police departments, the Sarasota County Fire Department and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office, the release notes.

Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw will offer opening remarks and a prayer; County Commissioner Carolyn Mason will present a certificate of recognition from her board; Sarasota Vice Mayor Suzanne Atwell will read a resolution from the city; the Sarasota House of Prayer will lead all in singing God Bless America; and the Rev. William H. Hild, Jr., pastor of the First Baptist Church in downtown Sarasota, will introduce the presentation of commemorative coins to the first responders, the release says.