WYTHEVILLE, Va. – The Wythe County Board of Supervisors is hosting the second annual “Wythe County Fire and Rescue Appreciation Day,” next Saturday, Aug. 23.

The event is open to the county’s fire and rescue responders, as well as emergency 911 dispatchers and their respective families.

Slated to be held at the Rural Retreat Lake Park, the festivities will begin at noon and last until 4 p.m., with a catered meal around 1 p.m.

Event organizers say they have been working tirelessly to ensure the appreciation day lives up to a standard worthy of the county’s first responders.

“It’s going to be a fun day. The participation from local businesses has been nothing short of overwhelming,” said Ikey Davidson, Wythe County emergency manager.

Davidson says the county has collected roughly $500 in gift cards from local donors, as well as countless shirts, hats and other items, which will be given away as door prizes at the event.

“Wings Air Rescue has agreed to raffle off free helicopter rides, there’s going to be a corn hole tournament, catered meal and games for the kids,” said Davidson.

Corporate sponsors for the event are Southwest Environmental, First Call Environmental and Wings Air Rescue.

Though attendance for the event will be open only to the county’s first responders, Wythe County officials made the decision to allow free swimming at the Rural Retreat Lake Park Pool for all local residents on Aug. 23, in honor of the county’s emergency responders.

“None of us could ever adequately thank the first responders who serve our communities. We do hope, however, that by opening the county’s swimming pool up to the general public, free of charge, in their honor, we would at least be sending a message that we are aware of the work they do and appreciate it very much,” said Kevin Williams, Wythe County’s Parks & Recreation director.

“The Board of Supervisors appreciates all the work, time and effort the county’s emergency responders selflessly provide to our community.  Because of them, Wythe County a better place,” said Tim Reeves, Chairman of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors

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