AMORY – The Amory Rotary Club has recognized outstanding first responders in Amory annually since 2011. During his term as club president, Don Mitchell presented the idea to the club members.

“First and foremost, it is public recognition of the important service rendered to the residents of Amory by our police and fire departments,” he said. “This is the way through the Amory Rotary Club to set aside a special moment to officially recognize all of those who serve, many times with more complaints than ever a note of appreciation.”

This year’s ceremonial luncheon will be held Jan. 23 at 11:30 a.m. at the East Amory Community Center, located at 1200 Crump Blvd. near Amory High School.

Tickets for the luncheon are $15 and available through Jan. 17 at Brown Eyes Bakery, Community Bank, Cadence Bank, Renasant Bank and The Coffee Pot.

Amory police officers and firefighters are chosen by their peers to represent their departments. Criteria for the award includes exhibiting qualities such as attitude, working well with others, training, courage, honor and bravery above and beyond the call of duty.

Mitchell saw the recognition practiced by the Downtown Rotary Club in Little Rock, with which he was affiliated prior to moving to Amory. Mitchell said the Little Rock club only recognized the police officer of the year, but he felt the community ought to recognize the firefighters as well.

Mitchell credits Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook for playing a role in the formulation of the program.

“He served as our master of ceremonies for a number of years until other obligations prevented him from continuing. We are indebted to Kevin for his role in getting this started,” Mitchell said.

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