Arvada first responders working on Thanksgiving were treated to free meals during their shifts, thanks to Chow for Champions, an annual effort to provide meals to Arvada police officers, firefighters and emergency medical service providers on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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This year’s Thanksgiving Day delivery effort saw 90 meals — provided for the first time by the Arvada Hilton Garden Inn, which joined the program this year as a catering partner — delivered by over two dozen volunteers.
First responders were treated to traditional Thanksgiving fare including turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole.
Chow for Champions was founded in 2020 by Arvada City Councilmember Lauren Simpson and resident Kimber Just, who has since moved away. This year’s effort was organized by Simpson in partnership with the Arvada Chamber of Commerce handling sponsorships.
“What’s really special about Chow is that it’s growing,” Simpson said. “We’re in our third year now of doing this, and I really think the program has hit a new level. The Hilton Garden Inn coming on as our catering partner is elevating the menu, and support from sponsors and community volunteers alike is growing too, which I’m extremely grateful for.
“This was our best Thanksgiving yet, and I think we needed that,” Simpson continued. “Losing Dillon Vakoff only a year after Gordon Beasley… we’ve all felt that. But our team hasn’t wavered. All of our first responders are still out there, doing these important but often dangerous jobs. They do it for their community, and this is how we as a community can say thank you to them.”
The philanthropic effort will also give out meals to Arvada first responders on Christmas Day. Simpson said she is still looking for delivery drivers for Christmas and donations to support the meals.
Volunteers can contact Simpson to get involved at firstname.lastname@example.org, and donations can be made to the Arvada Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s Thanksgiving sponsors include the City of Arvada, Arvada-Jefferson Kiwanis Club, Arvada Elks Lodge and Arvada Rent-Alls. Simpson said Sonsio is confirmed as a sponsor for the Christmas edition of Chow for Champions.
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