By Amanda Boston

With a grateful heart, Lithia resident Gary Randolph is bringing the community together to say thank you to local first responders and their families.

“These men and women are here for our community, and unless you experience an emergency, most of us don’t get the chance to say thank you,” explained Randolph. “When most of us would be running away, the first responders are rushing into harm’s way to protect and serve.”

In a joint effort, Randolph and The Chapel at FishHawk are inaugurating FamFest 2018. The open-air festivities will take place on The Chapel grounds on Saturday, March 3 from 4-8 p.m. and is dedicated to first responders and their families.

Ryan Tirona, the pastor at The Chapel at FishHawk, said, “I’m excited to honor first responders in light of their tireless hours spent serving the community day in and day out, but also in light of the service they provided throughout Irma.“

The free family event will feature food, fun activities and live music. Randolph and the men’s ministry at The Chapel will grill burgers and hotdogs for festival goers. A fire engine will be on site to explore, and local vendors will set up to host games and activities for the children.

Live music will resonate from Derrick Williams, the host of The Gospel Voice TV show, and The Gospel Voice Band. Their performance will showcase Williams’ signature sound that infuses Gospel with Jazz, Funk and Rhythm & Blues. Also taking the stage are two other local musicians—Idiomz, a hip-hop emcee and producer, and Karinna Crespo, the 13-year-old singer who recently released the single, Blurry.

Randolph said, “I hope that this [FamFest 2018] will become an annual event. If the community responds by coming out to support it, then we will continue to do it each year.”

If you would like to participate as a vendor or donate to the raffle, please contact Randolph at grandolph213@gmail.com.

For more information on FamFest 2018, visit Facebook FamFest 2018.

To watch The Gospel Voice TV show, tune into the Christian Television Network (CTN) on Saturdays at 12:30 a.m. (EST). For information on the show, visit www.thegospelvoicetvshow.com.