Cookout for first responders

Scott Boldenau serves lunch to officers Jorge Miranda and Jeremy Worledge. 

Beth Parker wanted to show her support for Keizer’s first responders, then she had to stop telling friends and neighbors about it. 

“Everyone I told wanted to help. I had to stop talking about it because we could only have so many people,” said Parker, owner of Tender Touch Grooming. 

On Tuesday, Aug. 11, Parker arranged for a good, old-fashioned cookout at the Keizer Police Station. 

Parker was moved to action through a conversation with her partner, Scott Boldenow, who spoke with an officer who responded to their neighborhood.

“The thing Scott took away from the conversation was that morale was pretty low among the officers. Then I saw a YouTube video of an officer crying in her patrol car,” Parker said. 

The video Parker referenced was posted by a distraught officer upset over interactions, and possible food tampering, at a fast food restaurant.

“When I saw that, I was crying,” Parker said. 

Parker began organizing in earnest three weeks prior to the event. She and others chipped in to purchase hamburgers and sausages to feed the crew at the Keizer Police Department, but as she started gathering prices for what it would take to put on the shindig, she ran into more help. 

“I called Oregon Valley Farms and they offered to donate 100 burgers, then I called Mt. Angel Sausage Company and they donated 40 sausages. At that point, I was crying again,” Parker said. 

In the end, she and her co-conspirators ended up with more than enough food to feed the police department. To help avoid leftovers, she invited crews from the Keizer Fire District and Keizer Public Works as well. 

Parker’s mood was joyous as the event unfolded, but doesn’t think she’s done yet. To help with the next first responder support effort, give her a call at 503-999-1673.

Pastor Kevin Spade, of Bikers for Christ, plates a burger for Officer Martin Powell.Det. Arsen Avetisyan garnishes a his lunch. Victor Hess and Aaron Kennan of the Keizer Fire District Collect sides and condiments.