MOUNDRIDGE — Food, music and giveaways were on tap on a sunny Saturday — a pleasant afternoon dedicated to those who are called upon to handle unpleasant events.

Hundreds of people turned out for a first responder appreciation event hosted at Cloud Nine Venue in Moundridge on May 5.

Cloud Nine Venue owner, Denise Neubauer, organized the day, gathering donations of food, services and gifts to be given to law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel.

When area businesses learned of the event, they responded with outpourings of items not only for first responders, but for those who volunteered to work the event as well.

“Everybody went above and beyond,” Neubauer said.

Representatives from law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services agencies across Kansas attended the event.

“There were people from all over the place,” Neubauer said. “Some of the drawing winners are from towns I’ve never heard of.”

That was just what Neubauer hoped for, as she was initially given 616 pillows from MyPillow when she began coordinating the first responder appreciation event. Only a few dozen went unclaimed.

“It was fantastic,” Neubauer said. “It was a great pleasure.”

Moundridge Mayor, Gary Fisher, noted the event provided an opportune time for members of the different agencies to meet each other.

“It was a good project,” Fisher said.

“It was a nice turnout and we had awesome volunteers,” Neubauer said. “...I think it was all special. So many people were thankful and it was nice to be able to thank them.”