Gipson Funeral Home hosted its annual First Responders Luncheon on Tuesday.

“This is our ninth one,” said Kristi Lavespere, office manager at Gipson Funeral Home. “We started after 9/11. We just wanted to show our first responders our appreciation in town, so that’s what we’re doing today.”

General manager Ron Young and other Gipson representatives greeted first responders who were attending.

“We certainly appreciate Gipson Funeral Home for hosting this event and recognizing the public servants in our area, our law enforcement, EMS,” Lufkin Fire Chief Duane Freeman said. “It’s very much appreciated.”

Red Tulip Rolling Bistro catered the event, offering pulled pork sandwiches, cowboy beans, chips, cookies and a number of drinks. The funeral home also provided tumblers for first responders as a gift.

“It’s a come and go thing. They really enjoy it,” Lavespere said.

Officers, firefighters, EMS and more arrived at the funeral home to sit, chat and eat together.

“Thanks to Gipson Funeral Home for honoring all first responders in Angelina County today,” Sheriff Greg Sanches said. “Their kindness and generosity is much appreciated.”

Others stopped to pick up food before getting right back to work or delivering it to their coworkers who couldn’t be away.

“We’re very fortunate in this community to have business and citizens that support the law enforcement and first responders of the county,” Pct. 1 Constable Tom Selman said. “We’re very grateful for what they do for us.”

Austin King’s email address is austin.king@lufkindailynews.com.