American Tire Distributors (ATD) was the presenting sponsor for ‘First Responder Appreciation Day’ hosted by the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF) at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. While free to attend, donations made during the event supported GSF’s initiatives, such as building custom homes for severely wounded heroes, honoring and supporting the families of our fallen, providing essential equipment and training for first responders, improving the mental wellness of our defenders and more.
In partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to serving our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, and their families, First Responder Appreciation Day brought together community members, local first responders, and guests, including Huntersville Mayor, Melinda Bales, to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary dedication of these first responders.
The event featured a free buffet for the first 1,000 registrants, a hands-on “Touch-a-Truck” activity with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) bomb squad, and a performance by Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band, with opening act Stolen Silver. With support from the contributions of ATD, GSF also awarded more than $100,000 in grants to provide vital equipment for the East Gaston Volunteer Fire Department, Union Vale Volunteer Fire Department, and CMPD.
ATD has raised $2.75 million for GSF since the partnership began in 2019. This year, ATD said it has a goal to raise $1.5 million for GSF through the third annual Summer for Heroes campaign, which will fund mental health and suicide prevention programs, community outreach, and support programs for families of fallen heroes. The campaign will end in October with the Gala and Golf for Heroes.