SHELDON, Mo. — First responders were honored for their service today (Saturday) – with some traveling hundreds of miles to be a part of the appreciation event.

The “6th Annual Appreciation Event for First Responders” taking place at the “Lodge of Hope” in Sheldon is a day filled with free activities to show thanks to our heroes.

First responders and their families were treated to things like axe-throwing, archery, snow cones, and plenty of food.

“Peterson Outdoor Ministries'” officials say – they bring in first responders from all of the four states – and even as far as California – to try and recognize all the hard work and dedication these men and women show.

“I don’t think our first responders get enough appreciation of what they do. They keep our communities safe. Right now in America we have a lot of communities that are unsafe but these are the people that keep us safe day in and day out. They run into danger instead of away from it,” said Tron Peterson, Peterson Outdoor Ministries Director.

“When Tron came to me and said let’s bring some California guys in that was huge because ya know all the first responders around our area and from where we’re from they know they’re loved, you know. Not by everybody but by the majority. The guys in California don’t so to be able to show a group of them every year that hey there are actually people out here that care,” said Shane Pennel, 360 Auto Service Owner.

This year’s special guest speaker was Teejay Britton — a five sport professional athlete and motivational speaker.