Local restaurant makes sure first responders are well fed with annual holiday tradition

<p class="indent">For first responders in Southwest Louisiana, Labor Day was still a workday.</p><p class="indent">To honor them for their service, staff members of Olive Garden restaurant delivered hot meals to Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies Monday at the south Lake Charles station on Gulf Highway.</p><p class="indent">General manager Mary Carmichael said Olive Garden has made the food deliveries its Labor Day tradition for the past 17 years. She has participated the last five years.</p><p class="indent">“I like giving back,” she said. “Sometimes our first responders are forgotten about on Labor Day when most people are off, but yet they are still out here serving their community. They are not able to spend the day with their family so we wanted to make sure they got a hot meal.”</p><p class="indent">Carmichael and six members of her staff brought spaghetti pasta, fettuccine, meatballs, marinara, salad, chicken and sausage to the deputies.</p><p class="indent">“Basically they can set up their own pasta station and can snack during their shift,” Carmichael said. “It’s our way of thanking those who keep us safe and serve those who serve us every day.”</p><p class="indent">Co-worker Doris Memory said she was honored to participate.</p><p class="indent">“It’s a way to show our respect to them and make sure they have a hot meal on Labor Day,” Memory said. “They do so much for us and we wanted to show them our support.”</p><p class="indent">Deputy John Eric Perry, who has worked for the sheriff’s office for 13 years, said the delivery was a welcome surprise.</p><p class="indent">“I’m very grateful for everybody who is willing to give in that way and do this kind of thing for law enforcement and for those who are willing to help out,” Perry said.</p><p class="indent">Serving in law enforcement is a family tradition for Perry’s family; his wife and father-in-law also serve.</p><p class="indent">“We really truly appreciate everything that everyone did to reach out to us,” Perry said. “It’s nice to be appreciated.”</p><p class="indent">His co-worker, Deputy Jason Charles, agreed.</p><p class="indent">“Thank you for thinking about us and showing us you care,” Charles said.</p>””<p><span>Staff members of Olive Garden restaurant deliver hot meals to Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies on Monday at the south Lake Charles station on Gulf Highway. The surprise curbside service was part of a Labor Day tradition to give back to those working on the annual holiday.</span></p>RickHickmanPhotographer