By Sharon Aron Baron
The Veterans Networking Alliance (VNA) held its 4th Annual National First Responders Day Salute & Caravan Parade in Coral Springs on October 25 to recognize and honor the sacrifices made by its dedicated first responders.
The theme was “Faith, Family, Fire, & FrontLiners: Protectors of Peace.”
The VNA, a nonprofit organization, once again took the opportunity to honor first responders. The celebration started with the Caravan Parade, starting at the Coral Springs/Parkland Fire Station 80 and culminating at the Coral Springs Police Department.
The Caravan Salute was led by Tony Spina, a veteran from the Veterans Coalition of Coral Springs, who walked with the American Flag.
Mayor Scott Brook, along with Mayor Rich Walker of Parkland and community leaders, gathered to express their gratitude and appreciation for the selfless service of first responders.
Brook addressed the attendees declaring, “Faith, Family, Fire, and FrontLiners: This is our 4th Annual VNA event to support you all and say thank you. God Bless You. Congratulations on your day.”
He was joined by Mayor Walker, who echoed the sentiments and praised the bravery and dedication of first responders.
“Anytime I have the opportunity to thank first responders, it is always an honor, so thank you for everything you do for our community. It is truly a blessing for us,” said Walker.
The parade featured a convoy of vehicles led by Todd Hollandsworth, who saluted first responders as they made their way from Coral Springs Fire Station 80 to the Coral Springs Police Department.
The procession included special veterans of honor, such as Tom Melville, Ron Daddio, and Toni Neptune, all participating to pay tribute.
Brook, the founder of VNA, emphasized the importance of the event.
“We hope you feel the love from your community and from your veterans that have come to pay honor and tribute to you and say thank you.”
The ceremony concluded with Brook extending his blessings and congratulations to first responders, following Walker’s heartfelt presentation of the Tribute Poem “Flame of Glory” dedicated to the first responders.
The event also featured the presence of Pastor Randal Cutter, Chaplain of the Veteran’s Coalition of Coral Springs, Co-Chair of the Clergy Coalition, and Pastor of New Dawn Community Church, Veteran Tony Spina from the Veteran’s Coalition of Coral Springs, and former Major League Baseball’s, Todd Hollandsworth.
Brook and Cutter presented District Chief Eduardo Lopez with framed art posters titled “Flame of Glory” to recognize the first responders’ role as “Protectors of Peace.”
The VNA expressed its gratitude for the community support and the participation of parade attendees who decorated their vehicles in honor and love for the first responders. VNA also highlighted its partnership with the Veteran Coalition of Coral Springs and the local community veterans.
A special commendation was reserved for Todd and Marci Hollandsworth, who stepped in with just a few hours notice to lead the parade after learning that the lead vehicle was unavailable. According to the VNA, their contribution was described as a “God-sent blessing.”
For those interested in learning more about VNA, participating in next year’s event, or becoming a sponsor, please visit www.veteransnetworkalliance.org.
- Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs and the rest of South Florida.
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