September 11, 2001. Terrorists hijacked passenger airplanes and brought down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. In the worst terrorist attack in world history, 2,977 souls perished. Among them 412 emergency workers - firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, a firefighter chaplain and police officers - laid down their lives carrying out their duties. Many more have since died of respiratory illnesses caused by breathing in burning toxins.

Remembering that day, volunteers from the RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) brought a large amount of food, both sweets and healthy snacks, to personnel from the Wellington Police and Fire departments at around 10 a.m. Sept. 11. 

“9/11 is a National Day of Service and Remembrance,” RSVP Director Debbie Lutz told the police and firefighters in the break room. “The RSVP program would like to thank each one of you for your hard work and dedication. On this day we want to remember the individuals we lost and our brave first responders who put others before themselves. Thank you for your loyalty and commitment to our community.”

They later delivered food to the Sumner County Sheriff’s office and to first responders in surrounding towns like Oxford, Belle Plaine and Mulvane. 

“It’s a very kind and very heartfelt gesture,” Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath said later. “We’re very appreciative. I know my guys enjoyed it. You stick those things in the break room and you have officers coming in and out of the walls.”

This was the first year RSVP has brought treats to local first responders on 9/11. Volunteers plan to do it every year.

“It’s very meaningful to everyone involved,” Lutz said.