Each year since the late 1990s, people in the Monroe community take a few extra steps to make "Police and Fire Appreciation" week memorable.
It's evident in the banner across Main Street and the color posters hanging in storefronts, churches and schools.
Messages on marquees and reader boards echo the sentiment.
"It's pretty unique to Monroe," said Michael Hanford, a Monroe pastor and one of several chaplains who volunteer with the police and fire departments. "Not many cities have such an annual event."
Schoolchildren create art work or write thank you cards.
The week kicks off Sunday when some local churches include mention of the police officers and firefighters in their services.
During the week, businesses and congregations will bring in meals to the police and fire stations. There also is a banquet.
Hanford said the more time he spends with local police and firefighters, the more he appreciates what they do.
"There is a sense of need to regularly say thank you to our first-responders who constantly risk their lives to keep us safe, preserve peace and order in our communities and make such a difference in its atmosphere," he said.
The week is not meant to be a fundraiser, but some people have asked how they can donate to local police and fire causes, Hanford said.
There are two options.
Checks can be made out to the Monroe Fire District 3 equipment-apparatus fund or to the city of Monroe's "Police K-9 Donation Fund." They can be sent to Monroe City Hall, 806 W Main St., Monroe, WA, 28272, or Christ Church Monroe Office, 225 S. Lewis St., Monroe, WA, 98272.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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