SOAR serving lunch to first responders, Streeterville
By Jesse Wright | Staff Writer
September 4, 2018
Once again, the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) is preparing for its annual First Responders Appreciation Day. The event will be held Sept. 13, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Chicago Fire Department Engine Company 98, 202 E. Chicago Ave.
Bob Johnson, chairman of the safety and sound management taskforce for SOAR, said the event is a way to give back to the men and women who keep the neighborhood safe.
“The organization wanted to give thanks to our firefighters and our police officers and our paramedics who serve the community,” he explained. “We think they do a terrific job.”
In addition to the public luncheon, SOAR will deliver sandwiches from Timothy O’Toole’s Pub to the 18th Precinct District at 10 p.m. to recognize the overnight shift workers.
This year, the event moved from the Lakeshore Field House to a fire station two blocks west. Johnson said in prior years, getting the firefighters to go to an offsite location and then sit down for a meal could be tricky, especially if a fire broke out.
“The firefighters never got a chance to attend the event because they’d walk in, get a bite of food and then get called out,” he said.
However, Johnson said the event is for the community and not just for first responders.“Just show up,” he said. “Come as you are.”
Johnson said that while a local alderman or congressman might stop in, the lunch is less a political event as it is a way to build community.
“We just think it would be nice for our first responders to get to know our people and for our people to get to know them.”
Johnson said the lunch has been an event for years, and is something of a tradition in Streeterville.
“I think it was done shortly after the 9/11 [ceremonies], as a way to remember the 343 firefighters killed in 9/11,” he said. “It’s a time of year we think of them more so than during the rest of the year.”
For more information, visit the SOAR website, soarchicago.org.