September 11 Activities Stand Out in Prosper Prosper’s Community Picnic Set for Saturday

September 11 is just around the corner and Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame sent out a reminder of the upcoming activities.

The Fire Department’s 9/11 ceremony for this year has been moved to Frontier Park. It will begin at 7:30 a.m.

A special guest will be in attendance this year. He is Jose Prosper from the Fire Department of New York City. The Firefighters Association is flying Jose and his family to the Dallas area and he will be a guest speaker in Prosper.

Prosper firefighters have had a relationship with Prosper for many years.

He has been with the FDNY for 19 years and is assigned to E38 in the Bronx. He was a responder on 9/11. The FDNY did a recall of its firefighters that day and Prosper’s wife was dropping him off in Manhattan as the second tower fell. He quickly responded to help after that and worked on the pile for many months following.

“We also have our own Sergeant Ronald Castro who was with NYPD at that time and who will be speaking as well,” said Blasingame. “He also worked ground zero during the aftermath.”

After the ceremony, the World Trade Center Mobile Memorial will be brought back to Central Fire Station but will visit Rucker Elementary from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. then back to Central. It will be at Reynolds Middle School from 5:30 p.m. to approximately 8 p.m. before returning back home to Central Fire Station. Also, the Memorial will be at the Seventh Annual Memorial Stair Climb in downtown Dallas this Saturday morning at Renaissance Tower at 8 a.m. where 946 Climbers will climb 110 floors to honor those responders who lost their lives that day. “We have multiple members [of the fire department] climbing and some on standby as alternates for Saturday,” Chief Blasingame said.

The Mobile Memorial will be back to Prosper just in time to be at the Community Picnic from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Frontier Park.

There will also be a non-profit exhibit and food drive to highlight the picnic. As communities like Prosper expand and grow, adding residents, rooftops and retail, many begin to leave behind the events and activities that call to mind the old-time charm and charisma of small towns.

In contrast to that trend, the annual Prosper Community Picnic continues as a hometown tradition that recalls those simpler days, occupying a warm place in the hearts of residents.

Instead of gathering to help a neighbor raise a barn or bring in a harvest, Prosper residents are invited to attend the free event to meet friends, make new acquaintances, and express those old traditions in new ways. In addition to free hot dogs, drinks, and dessert, attendees will enjoy music, fun, games and attractions for all ages.

This year, in an effort to assist Prosper-based non-profit agencies and organizations get the word out about their services, a limited number of booth spaces are available at no charge. Interested non-profits should contact Julie Shivers, Recreation Coordinator at julie_shivers@prospertx.gov or 972-569-1064 to reserve a space.

The event will retain the popular tradition of residents being personally served by Mayor Ray Smith and members of the Town Council. As usual, the generosity of the members of local churches and service organizations helps defray the major costs of the picnic, making it a truly community-based celebration.

For example, the membership of Lighthouse Fellowship Church is providing the hot dogs and fixings; the Prosper Ladies Association is furnishing and serving dessert; and members of Prosper United Methodist Church will provide and serve drinks.

As in previous years, Bethlehem Place, Prosper’s only food pantry, will conduct its traditional “Hunger is No Picnic” food drive. Residents and guests who bring Items may elect to place those items in the collection bins for their favorite school, helping that school win the travelling trophy, awarded to the Prosper ISD school that has collected the most donations throughout the contest.

“Inviting the non-profits to our event this year gives local organizations an opportunity to introduce themselves and their missions to the public,” said Shivers. “It will be inspiring to see numerous organizations represented this year.”

More information on the Prosper Community Picnic is available at www.prosperparksandrec.org

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