PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - They put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve. And right now, community support for first responders is now needed more than ever. That's what many of them found Tuesday at the Oaks Golf Club in Pass Christian: A free round of golf and plenty of thanks for the job they do.
Offering up a $50 round of golf for nothing was an easy choice for course general manager Russ Bloom.
"We definitely don't look at it as a cost at all. On a weekday in the summertime, we're not going to have huge revenue days, so it's something where we had the space and we're more than happy to show our appreciation by giving free golf," Bloom explained.
This gift from the heart left an impression on first responder Lonnie Necaise.
"Without community support, it makes it very hard sometimes to do your job. And if you know that the majority of the people out there support you, and stand behind people in blue, the firemen, anything like that, it just shows that people still do care in this world. And it's what we need," Necaise said.
A member of the management team at the Oaks has a unique perspective on this whole event. Not only is he the director of sales, he's also a part time Pass Christian police officer.
"It's really stressful times for us out on the road and for all of emergency first responders," David Spence said. "And so to be able to come out to somewhere that you know is going to be safe and that you can just relax and take the edge off, I think is a big idea."
Recent events in Dallas and Baton Rouge are not far from the minds of these first responders, including Garrett Raskett.
"It's a good sense of appreciation, especially in the police world right now, with everything that's going on. But for us too, it's very much appreciated," Raskett said.
That emotion was prevalent Tuesday for others, like Bryan Rowe.
"We're very honored and we're very grateful for this gesture. I know it's a hard time for everybody, but this means something. So thanks to the Oaks," Rowe said.
Free golf for first responders is also being offered on Wednesday and Thursday at the Oaks.