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Local Olive Garden provides meal to Westminster first responders in nationwide Labor Day celebration

Local Olive Garden provides meal to Westminster first responders in nationwide Labor Day celebration
Members of the Westminster volunteer fire company take food from a table set up by the Westminster Olive Garden as a part of an event where Olive Gardens across the country gave back to first responders on Labor Day. (Emily Chappell/Carroll County Times)

On any given day of the year, members of the Westminster volunteer fire company are ready to jump into action, risking their lives to take care of the community during emergencies.

But on this Labor Day, it’s the community that is working to take care of its first responders.

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Carroll’s local Olive Garden in Westminster took time Monday afternoon to swing by the local fire company and deliver fettucine alfredo and spaghetti and meatballs, plus salad and breadsticks, to those in the firehouse. Three members of the Westminster Olive Garden team came with dish after dish of Italian food before setting up the feast for a group of hungry first responders.

Kate Wright, a manager at the Westminster Olive Garden, said this is the second year they’ve chosen to bring a hot meal to the members of the Westminster volunteer fire company.

“[We do this] just to give a nice thank you for everything that they do for us,” she said, later adding, “It builds relations with the public to let everyone know that we’re here for them and we appreciate everything that they do for us on a day-to-day basis.”

For more than a decade, Olive Garden has served more than 12,000 meals to first responders on this holiday, according to a news release from the company. This is the 17th consecutive year Olive Garden’s more than 850 restaurants nationwide have participated.

Firefighter/EMT Michael Erdman said he wasn’t expecting the meal from Olive Garden.

“It’s always a nice gesture, no matter who it comes from,” he said.

Members of the Westminster Olive Garden team set up a lunch display for first responders at the Westminster volunteer fire company on Labor Day.
Members of the Westminster Olive Garden team set up a lunch display for first responders at the Westminster volunteer fire company on Labor Day. (Emily Chappell/Carroll County Times)

Erdman, who has been with the Westminster volunteer fire company since 2012, said it’s a “very exciting career,” and that in his job, he gets to see and do things you wouldn’t be able to do in any other career.

Bob Ruby, a member of the fire company, said Olive Garden has brought many meals to the fire company to make sure its members are fed.

“Olive Garden and Texas Roadhouse treat us very well,” he said.

Ruby said he likes Olive Garden’s food — particularly their soups — and said it’s nice that the restaurant comes out to take care of them.

“It shows they appreciate us as much as we appreciate them,” he said.

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