Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: A swimmer performs a backflip off the high dive during the event.
By Jon Johnson
PIMA – On Wednesday, Country Financial representative Vaughn Grant and his daughter, Jenna Ferrin, hosted a pizza and ice cream social for first responders in Pima, town employees, and their families.
The event was held at Blue Ribbon Park next to the Pima Pool, and the pool was also opened for free use by those in attendance.
“I think it’s great,” said Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis. “Right now with everything going on in the world that we still have businesses that support first responders – still respect law enforcement. That’s what Country companies is showing.”
Grant previously gave away 400 pizzas to local first responders in Graham County but said he and Ferrin wanted to do something just for those in his hometown of Pima. Grant has lived in Pima for about 30 years and previously spent nearly a decade on the Pima Town Council and served as the town’s mayor.
“We’re just trying to give back a little bit,” Grant said. “We’ve got about 40 large pizzas, all the ice cream they can eat and water, and the pool is open as just a thank you back to what they’ve already given us.”
“It hasn’t been too long ago that somebody actually used my home for directions. That means you have finally made it. I often tell people I was raised in Thatcher, I live in Pima, and I work in Safford, so I’ve got all the bases covered.”
The gang from Country Financial was decked out in green face coverings and wore gloves while dispensing slices of pizza and bowls of ice cream. Social distancing was encouraged as those in attendance attempted to adhere to the Centers For Disease Control guidelines. The event was previously postponed after not being able to secure the pool venue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, after looking into how to handle the number of people who participated, it was decided the event could go on in the park and pool while still adhering to guidelines.
“We spread it out,” Lewis said. “We have the food and ice cream being served over in the park and the pool is open for the people. So we spread it out and we’re trying to do our best to take care of the current situation. At the same time, we still have to live our lives, so we’re trying to do it as healthy and as easy as we can.”
Country Financial also presented the town of Pima with a $2,000 check to be used for its first responders.
Pima Mayor C.B. Fletcher was on hand and he expressed his pleasure at how the event went.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” he said. “Look how many people are out. (The) swimming pool is about half-full. All of our picnic tables are full. People are standing in line. All thanks to Vaughn Grant and Jenna (Ferrin) and Countrywide.”