PORTAGE | It was a long, hard winter on city workers.
Members of the American Legion Post 260 Ladies Auxiliary wanted to say "thanks" Wednesday, so they invited them to lunch — all 300 or so of them.
Auxiliary members prepared a spaghetti luncheon, complete with salad, bread and dessert.
Legion members made the sauce. Jimmy John's donated much of the bread.
"I have appreciated what they've done this winter. We have the cleanest roads around," said Cindy Back, auxiliary president.
Back also lauded other department employees for their efforts to get the city and its residents through the winter.
Back said other people noticed the work and dedication and she thought it would be nice to thank city employees by hosting the luncheon at the Legion.
It isn't the first time the auxiliary has had such a luncheon, said Back, adding a former auxiliary president, Betty Stutler, used to organize one every year. She's hoping to continue the tradition with an annual appreciation luncheon.
"It's really great that they appreciate the jobs we do," said Don Saunders, a street department employee.
"It's amazing. They've always been supportive with our firefighter, EMS and police officer of the year awards," said Assistant Fire Chief Dan Kodicek. "And, it's good to boot."
"This is excellent that they would do this," added Portage Fire Department Division Chief Ron Ziulkowski.