ESCANABA - Delta Lodge 195 of Free & Accepted Masons will be hosting a dinner to honor the area's first responders and emergency personnel at the Terrace Bay Inn March 22.
The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour and cash bar. Dinner will be served buffet-style at 6 p.m. with prizes following at 7 p.m.
"Several local business owners have chipped in for this event, and of course we will recognize them at the event," said Christopher Germain, chairman of the event and Senior Warden of Lodge 195.
First responder dinners have been held by other Masonic lodges in the state, but typically focus on police officers.
"Up here, because we have so many volunteer fire departments and so many other organizations that are involved in the emergency response overall, we decided that we would just expand it to everybody," said Germain.
Invitations have been extended to Delta County Sheriff, Escanaba Public Safety, Gladstone Public Safety, Michigan State Police, Hannahville Tribal Police, Delta County Search and Rescue, all Delta County fire departments, DNR Wildlands and Forest Service firefighters, and Rampart EMS.
The dinner is free for emergency personnel, however, due to funding limitations, guests are asked not to bring family members to the dinner. To-go containers will be provided for any emergency first responders who RSVP to the event but are on duty that evening.
The dinner will also include a short presentation thanking guests for their work and a brief explanation of the fraternity of Freemasonry and its charitable efforts.
"We are going to put out some information about some of the stuff that we have done in this community, like the child ID program that we run every year at the health fair, donations that we've made into the community for the youth shotgun league; we've given away scholarships in the community," said Germain.
To RSVP for the event, emergency first responders are asked to call or text Chris Germain 420-2783.