To the editor,

I would like to share with you my deep appreciation and gratitude to the citizens and businesses of McMinn County.

In many areas where I have lived, local heroes that serve and protect the community are often unrecognized and unappreciated for the sacrifices and risks they take daily in service to their community.

The McMinn County Amateur Radio Club each year tries to show our law enforcement, emergency medical, firefighters, utility and other public servants our appreciation by providing a day of free golfing and dinner within the context of a tournament with their peers. At no time has the demonstration of our appreciation and respect for first responders been more important than during this time of COVID pandemic and we were honored to host the event.

This year, we had 74 first responders attend the tournament, more than twice the number at last year’s tournament. This activity would not have been possible without the support of local businesses and citizens who contributed monetary and material support for the tournament.

The outpouring of support for this year’s event was unprecedented considering the current economic conditions, with a 55% increase in the number and level of contributions acknowledging the job these individuals perform in the community.

I feel very fortunate to be living in an area where individuals care deeply about their fellow man and show respect and love for their neighbor. When we moved here four years ago, we were struck by the respect and caring everyone shows for each other and the appreciation they show toward those that serve.

I hope my fellow McMinn County neighbors recognize how unique this area is and how fortunate we are to live in such an environment.

To those that sponsored teams or holes and otherwise supported the tournament this year, our heartfelt thank you and deepest appreciation for your support. To my fellow citizens of McMinn County, thank you for being the caring, respectful and loving individuals that you are.

God bless.

Dr. Gary Eiff, W3GME

McMinn County Amateur Radio Club president

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