Family gives back to first responders

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When coronavirus restrictions started falling into place and shutting down restaurants, Michelle Shauger said she finally found the perfect way to do something she’d always wanted to do: give back to the city’s police and fire departments.

That she could also help potentially struggling restaurants in Rome was also exactly what she wanted.

On Wednesday last week, Shauger and her family ordered food from Eddie’s Paramount Diner and had it delivered to all three shifts of the Rome Police Department.

From Tuesday through Friday this week, Shauger and her family ordered pizzas and wings from Luigi’s Italian Cuisine and had it delivered to all four shifts at the Rome Fire Department for dinner.

“My concern is for business owners, because I’m aware of the cashflow situation,” Shauger said. “I was just trying to think of ways out of the box to get business to local restaurants.”

Shauger, of Lee Center, said she is a financial adviser through Primerica, and has always used local restaurants to cater her seminars. When restaurants had to close down their seating areas due to the coronavirus, she said she tried to think of a way she could help out. Shauger said she has also always wanted to give back to the city’s police and fire departments.

So she said she put two-and-two together and she and her family bought food for the city’s officers and firefighters.

“We all have gifts and talents, and this was the first reaction I had,” Shauger said. “All of us are trying to pull together in whatever way we can.”

Shauger said her idea was so well received by Eddie Long at Eddie’s Paramount Diner that he volunteered to donate the food, but she had to decline his offer.

“I’m trying to help you,” Shauger joked about her reaction to the offer.

Shauger said she normally likes to be anonymous with her charity, and now hoped to set an example. “Our heart has always been there,” she said. “God has blessed us and we can give.”

Fire Chief Thomas Iacovissi and Police Chief Kevin Beach both thanked Shauger for her generosity.

“By providing each shift with a meal from a local restaurant, not only is she showing her appreciation to first responders, but also providing support to local businesses hit hardest during this shutdown,” Chief Iacovissi stated.

“Our firefighters have also decided to buy takeout from local restaurants, when possible, to support our community during this difficult time,”
Iacovissi added.

Chief Beach said others in the community have also
started donating food to the department.

“I thought it was very nice for somebody in the public to
recognize the people still out there doing their jobs to keep people safe,” he stated.

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