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Feeding first responders: A time-honored Richmond Hill tradition resumes
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Ellis Phillips, far left, has been helping feed local first responders in law enforcement such as Sheriff Mark Crowe, and public safety for a long time.

The way Ellis Phillips looks at it, first responders give a lot to a community, so he figures they should get back something in return.

That’s why Phillips, a Liberty County native and military veteran, along with other volunteers in the Liars Club and DP Club, have for years treated local firefighters and deputies and paramedics and police officers to an all-they- can eat fish fry out at J.F. Gregory Park.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to that last year, but it was a temporary roadblock.

On a muggy Thursday, July 15, Phillips, along with much help from friends and helpers and wives and girlfriends and others, laid out a spread that included shrimp, fried fish, coleslaw, hush puppies, banana pudding and sweet tea and a lot more besides.

It was appreciated, as first responders – a blanket term that covers cops and deputies and firefighters and EMTs alike – came and went as their duties allowed.

“We’re grateful for this and that they take time to do this for us. It just shows what a great community we live in and what a privilege it is for us to serve Richmond Hill is,” said Richmond Hill Fire Chief Brendon Greene.

Other first responders were there as well and echoed Greene, praising the food, the service and the spirit which provided it.

In addition to a handful of local elected officials, the event also drew a pair of longtime public servants, former Richmond Hill Mayor Richard Davis, who was elected mayor in 1989 and served until 2010; and former Sheriff Clyde Smith, who held office from 1994 to 2020.

More photos below.

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