It wasn't exactly dinner and a show but Tuesday's visits by Clayton County senior citizens to local fire stations included a chicken sandwich and a serenade.
Dozens of seniors hopped on buses and vans to deliver Chik-fil-A lunches to Clayton firefighters and emergency services personnel in a show of appreciation. They held ";Thank You"; signs, cheered, hugged Chief Jeff Hood and sang, ";You Send Me,"; the Sam Cooke classic from 1957.
";Call Station 13 and let them know they are stopping there next,"; said Hood. ";Tell them to expect lots of hugging.";
The free lunch was delivered to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks when hundreds of first responders died while rescuing people from the burning World Trade Center towers.
Clayton Senior Services Director Mary Byrd said because so many seniors benefit from Meals on Wheels, they wanted to share the experience with firefighters.
";We thought this was a creative way to honor our public safety folks,"; she said. ";We're hoping next year we can get even more funding to do something on a larger scale.";
The seniors assembled at the Shelnutt Center in Jonesboro and got fired up through chants and songs before packing up familiar white and red Chik-fil-A bags with the unique chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. The first stop was Station 3 on Battle Creek Road where they were greeted by Hood, County Commissioner Gail Hambrick and several firefighters.
";We're just so thankful for the Clayton County Fire Department,"; said Hambrick. ";I think we have the best fire department not just in the state but the country.";
It is not the first time firefighters and seniors have come together. Hood said his department and senior services collaborate throughout the year on various projects.
";Mary Byrd and senior services are great partners with public safety,"; he said. ";We are always ready to help them in any way. Every Christmas, we help gather gifts for grandparents who are raising their grandkids. We are there for them whenever they have a great need.";
Hambrick presented Hood with a certificate of appreciation as the seniors cheered and sang.
"; This is a great way for the seniors to show the kind of pride we have in Clayton County,"; she said.