The law enforcement presence around JR’s Restaurant 39 this morning shouldn’t have alarmed passers-by – J.R. Stainback and his staff WANTED those firefighters and all other first responders to come by for a free breakfast to say “thank you” for their service.
In addition to all those uniformed first responders in attendance were other city and county officials who were providing well-wishes to Stainback during a ribbon-cutting to recognize the restaurant as a new member of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce.
Stainback spoke with WIZS News Monday morning and told Trey Snide that this is the second annual Community Servant Breakfast to honor all first responders, from volunteer firefighters to 911 operators and everyone in between who serves as a first responder in Vance County.
“This year is extra special,” Stainback said, given that the country has just marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“We’re remembering all the people from 9/11” as well,” he said. But Stainback said he is so appreciative of the community support that he and his restaurant staff have received over the past couple of years during the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“For us to be able to do this, is a testament to this community…2020 was horrible, but the community stuck by us,” he said. When dine-in wasn’t an option, people ordered take-out plates. “The community has really rallied around us,” he said. This breakfast is a result of all that support. “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without all the wonderful support of the customers.”
During the ribbon-cutting, Stainback reiterated the importance of that customer support. “From all of us, from all the customers who support us every day…(this breakfast) is an offering of thanks for everything y’all do,” he told those first responders.
Michele Burgess, Chamber president, and Dr. Levy Brown, chairman of the Chamber board, thanked Stainback for participating in the Chamber
“We want you to know you will continuously have the Chamber’s support,” Brown said, wishing Stainback continued success.
Local city and county officials also were on hand for the event, including Board of Commissioners Chairman Dan Brummitt, Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington, Police Chief Marcus Barrow and Sheriff Curtis Brame.
“Where would we be without our first responders?” Brame wondered aloud after the ceremony. “I’m just grateful to be a part of such an awesome team here in Vance County,” he added.
He said it’s not often that all the staffs in the various law enforcement agencies get to spend time in fellowship with one another and the community service breakfast provides that opportunity. “We’re so busy…doing our own jobs – we only see each other at crime scenes, accident scenes – to be able to sit down and break bread together is awesome. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of people that showed up,” he said.