When it pours non-stop for days, and thunderstorms continue to dominate the forecast, it makes hosting an outdoor fundraiser less than ideal. This was the dilemma our First Responders Day committee faced when deciding whether or not to postpone the May 11th, 2019 First Responders Day Celebration, benefitting the Van Zandt County First Responders.

Two days before the event, we made a decision and moved the celebration to August 10th. It was not a decision made lightly, as excitement was growing throughout the community, local businesses were getting involved, and First Responders were preparing demonstrations to showcase their skills. However, due to the nature of activities, many demonstrations would have been canceled, and it was better for all involved to postpone the date. It was a good decision, and though a hot August day, the 2nd Annual First Responders Day was a success!

Today is about honoring our local first responders and helping to bring public awareness to the services they provide.  It is especially important to expose our children to these men and women to help develop respect for the sacrifices made on their behalf.

The First Responder Fund was created as a way for the community to help support First Responders and their families facing difficult personal situations, and to help fill specific equipment or training needs of local agencies.  The Silver Spur Resort is honored to be a part of this day and we look forward to hosting the event for many years to come

Jack Woodward, General Partner
Twenty-Three Photography

Local Agencies Show Their Skills

The response was incredible, with various agencies across Van Zandt County showing up to engage with the community. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Search One Rescue 1 Rescue Team, East Texas CERT Team, South Van Zandt Volunteer Fire Department, Edgewood Fire Department, Canton Fire Department, Whitton Fire Department, Van Zandt County Sherriff’s Office, Canton Police Department, Wills Point Police Department, Grand Saline Police Department, Christus EMS, Christus Flight for Life, and Carter Blood Care. This event was successful due to the participation of these departments, and First Responders Day could not continue without them.

Organized with Kids in Mind

Emergency response vehicles were on display for kids to explore and meet local First Responders of Van Zandt County. It was thrilling for kids of all ages to get a close up look of the ins and outs of a fire truck, ambulance, police car, SWAT vehicles, EMS and more. Imagine the excitement of a child meeting a local fireman and having the honor of trying on his gear! Or standing in awe with your family as Flight for Life lands on the property. Or watching the skill and excellent training that police dogs receive during a K-9 demonstration right in front of you! These are just a few of the exciting ways our Van Zandt County First Responders showed off their skills on First Responders Day!

Twenty-Three Photography

Many other displays were set up inside the air-conditioned Barn. The Sheriff’s Dept offered child fingerprinting services for the second year in a row; something that the kids love! Each child received a booklet with their fingerprint and photo, for parents to keep as part of their child’s safety kit. The East Texas CERT Team was also present for the second year, to inform the community about the services the team provides, and to encourage citizens to request more information about volunteering with the CERT Team.

Friendly Competition: Police vs. Fire

What’s a little friendly competition between friends? This year we decided to do something fun and see who could raise the most money for the First Responders Fund, the police or the fire department. With donations from the community participating in activities like the “Dunk A First Responder” dunk tank, each department tried to raise more money than the other.

The prize? Well, the loser had to KISS A PIG, as seen on the front page of the Canton Herald! Derik Rogers, representing Canton PD, kisses Franky the pig, owned by Jennifer Pemberton, a Silver Spur Resort employee. The police & fire departments were such good sports about their friendly fundraising competition. We hope they agree to do it again next year!

Battle of the Badges

Carter BloodCare organized another “competition” between Police, Fire, and EMS. When a person signed up to give blood, they could mark which agency they were giving credit to for their donation. While all departments were announced “winners” at the end, the blood drive was a complete success due to the support of our community, and Carter BloodCare exceeded their donation goal. The real winners here are those receiving life-saving blood transfusions, because of your generous donation!

Local Businesses Give Back

When we asked for support from local businesses in the form of monetary or service-based donations, the response was wonderful! Due to generous gifts from our sponsors, our committee was able to provide many free services and activities such as hot dogs, drinks, a bounce house, and more! We gave raffle tickets to all First Responders in attendance and raffled off prizes donated by local businesses, as another token of our collective appreciation. Please help us thank our list of sponsors:

  • 2 Hot Chics
  • American National Bank of Texas
  • All Purpose Asphalt
  • Applebees
  • A-Solution Plumbing
  • Ace Hardware
  • Buttermilk’s
  • City National Bank
  • Chambers & Phillips, Inc.
  • Canton Paint & Body
  • Canton Guns & Ammo
  • Canton Lumber Co.
  • Dan Flynn, State Representative
  • Eubank Funeral & Cremation Services
  • Farmers Insurance, Stephanie Smith Agency
  • First Baptist Canton
  • Free State Storage
  • Fuller Environmental
  • Groom & Sons’
  • HALL Chevrolet-Buick-GMC
  • I AM ERICAS Flags
  • JL Davis Construction Services
  • Jerry’s Pizza
  • Legacy Dental Group
  • Liberty Inflatables & Party Rentals
  • Mean Momma’s Replication
  • Red Hat Rentals
  • Schlotzsky’s
  • Snowie
  • Sonic
  • The Pony Expresso
  • The Bearded Barber
  • TVEC Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative
  • Weaver Excavating & Septic

How to Donate

If you missed the fun of this event, there are several other ways you can contribute to help grow the Van Zandt First Responders Fund!

The most delicious way to donate is by dining at the Q & Brew at Silver Spur Resort. Every Tuesday, the Q & Brew will donate 10% of ALL sales directly to the Fund (yes, even beer sales!).

Silver Spur Resort also hosts several fundraisers throughout the year, from cornhole tournaments to bingo nights, and more. The best ways to learn more about our upcoming events are by liking our Facebook page or subscribing to our Resort newsletter.

And of course, monetary donations are always appreciated. Checks can be made out to “Van Zandt First Responders Fund” and mailed to Silver Spur Resort 13785 SH19 Canton, Texas 75103.

We are so grateful to you, our community, for helping us give back to the men and women who so selflessly serve Van Zandt County.

Check out our newest gallery of First Responders Day 2019 photos below! These images were taken by Alicia of Twenty-Three Photography, who graciously donated her time and services to this event for the second year in a row!

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