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Local Woman Delivering Appreciation to First Responders

Jan 31, 2017 07:52PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Kami Terry founded Community Heroes Appreciation in April of 2016. (Photos courtesy of the CHA Facebook page)

For Kami Terry appreciation for first responders and the work they do every day, is about more than just words, it's about actually doing something. 

That's why she founded Community Heroes Appreciation in April of 2016 — to take action. CHA is a local nonprofit organization that's currently moving from town to town hosting craft and vendor fairs and using all the proceeds to purchase various items for police officers, firefighters, EMTs and department personnel. 

The CHA Vendor and Craft will hit Oswego from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the YMCA. This will be Terry's sixth event. 

"My dad is a retired (Montgomery) police officer and my brother is an officer, so this is something that means a lot to me," Terry said. "I started this because I just felt like first responders weren't getting enough appreciation, and it was time to do something about it." 

So far, Terry has raised about $6,000 in Sugar Grove, Montgomery, Plano, Sandwich and Yorkville. With that money, she's been able to purchase meals, treats and personalized gifts for first responders, goodie bags for police officers to give to children and care packages for officers to give to the homeless.

The work of organizing the events and delivering the items has become a full-time volunteer commitment for Terry, who could no longer work after having brain surgery last year. 

"Before I started this, I was always helping out the local departments in some way," she said. "It's kind of just blossomed from there. I can't personally do more for them financially, so I thought I should probably get the community involved to make something happen."

She said the community reaction has been "amazing." The reaction in Oswego, so far, has been great, too. 

The upcoming fair is booked with 35 vendors with no room for more. Vendors include Discovery Toys, Damsel in Defense, Pixies Pet Closet Dog Apparel, Cornish Chiropractic, Disney Vacations, Homemade Jelly, Crayon Crafts, and many more.

There also will be crafts for kids, as well as Chase and Marshall mascots, and a Cinderella.

The event also includes 50/50 drawings and raffles. The biggest raffle prize to date is a $400 Weber grill donated by Terry's former employer Blain's Farm and Fleet in Montgomery. 

For more information about Community Heroes Appreciation, follow the organization on Facebook.
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