Traverse City Frontline Workers Honored With Celebrate Service Game
Two cross-town rivals faced off Friday in their first football game of the season, but the game was be about much more than football.
The annual matchup between Traverse City West and Traverse City Central is traditionally known as the Patriot Game.
But this year, it was the Celebrate Service game, honoring all those who served and continue to serve during the coronavirus pandemic.
Grand Traverse Metro Fire Chief Pat Parker says the days at the start of the coronavirus pandemic were filled with a lot of questions.
“The big thing was with our employees when it first came out, it was what if. What if this, what if that, if I get this I get that. The big thing we said is just follow the science, we put a policy out right away to say we’ve thought this thing through, you’re going to be protected, wear your PPE,” said Parker.
It was a similar situation for paramedics.
“Every day was new every day, we didn’t know what to expect, but we really just wanted to do the best for our community, do the best for each other, be supportive and really help with the next steps to stop or at least slow the spread,” said East Bay Paramedic Rachel Zemanek.
Friday, the efforts of those who provided everything from healthcare to public safety during the pandemic were honored when two rivals took the field in Traverse City for their first football game of the season.
“It’s just great that this community and this football game are honoring all responders, all essential employees and essential employees can be from bus drivers to street sanitary people, the list goes on, so we’re actually honored to be thought of,” said Parker.
Two rival teams, coming together to say thank you, to those that have carried northern Michigan through one of its most challenging chapters.
“We really are just here for the community, and to have the community also be here for us means more than we can imagine, than we can say. We come to work every day hoping that nothing bad happens, and when a pandemic hits, we’re just trying to do our best,” said Zemanek.