Nearly two dozen volunteers, including many from local churches, came together to provide a free lunch to the community’s different public servants on Tuesday at the Sherman Municipal Building.

The event, known as the Sherman Great Days of Service Public Service Luncheon, was organized by Andrea Sroufe, a local business owner with a desire to give back to her community. The luncheon was made possible with funding provided by the Oliver Dewey Mayor Foundation.

Sroufe organized her first public service luncheon last year and worked with several churches to put on the event.

“It’s our way of treating the people in our community who serve the public,” Sroufe said.

Sroufe said she had 435 people turn out for the event from dozens of different service organizations.

The luncheon was open to anyone who works in the public service of the county, city or state. Different departments represented included the Sherman Independent School District, Sherman Fire Department, Sherman Police Department and Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, as well as dozens of city, county and state workers from all levels.

Johnny Reed, from the Sherman Parks Maintenance Department, said he was grateful for the sentiment behind the meal, as well as the food.

“It’s fantastic feeling knowing these people appreciate us for what we do,” Reed said.

Sroufe teamed up with seven local churches to provide volunteers and food for the event. Churches who contributed either food or volunteers were First Baptist Church of Sherman, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Harvest Time Church, Grace United Methodist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, Legacy Bible Church and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Several members of the Sherman Fire Department said they were appreciative of the meal. Donald Bowling, a civil deputy with the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office for the last 16 years, was one of several individuals from GCSO who partook of the meal.

“We’re very appreciative of the community rallying around public servants,” Bowling said. “Sometimes it’s a thankless job. Anytime someone shows they do support us in our roles, it’s a good feeling.”

Kameron Brooks, youth pastor of Harvest Time Assembly of God, gave the blessing for the meal.

“It’s a great way to give back to our community to show our love, letting them know they are appreciated,” Brooks said.

Sroufe said the event took about three months of planning to pull together. She was asked to do it last year, saying although it was a lot of work, it was still very rewarding.

“After last year’s event, I enjoyed making people feel appreciated that I decided to do it again this year,” Sroufe said.

Sroufe said she is already planning to do another one next year.