The Gahanna Jaycees are showing their appreciation for local firefighters by baking cookies.
Jaycees chapter president Melissa Salamon, who lives in Westerville, said a program called Cookies for Rookies was launched in 2000 as a thank-you to those working on Christmas morning.
"Most times for the holidays, the rookies do end up working, but that is not always the case," she said. "We do this to show our appreciation for what the fire departments do on a day-in, day-out basis. They put their lives out there for us when things happen, and even though it isn't a huge project, we feel what we do shows that appreciation."
The Jaycees started Cookies for Rookies at three fire stations in Gahanna and branched out to include the station at Little Turtle and the Jefferson Township firehouse as well.
Deliveries were scheduled on Christmas morning to Mifflin Township fire station 131, 485 Rocky Fork Blvd.; Mifflin Township fire station 133, 501 Beecher Road; Mifflin Township fire station 134, 422 McCutcheon Road; Jefferson Township Fire Department, 6767 Havens Corners Road; and Columbus fire station 29, 5151 Little Turtle Way.
"We will deliver an assortment of cookies, from sugar, no-bake, chocolate chip and even just sweet goodies like chocolate-dipped pretzels," Salamon said. "We usually try to fill up turkey pans with cookies and deliver that to the firehouses."
She played host to fellow Jaycees and friends at her apartment Dec. 15 to bake the sweet treats and organize the delivery.
"I do have a lot of people who will also be donating and delivering the cookies with us," Salamon said.
"Firefighters work 24-hour shifts, including holidays," said Lt. Jason Strohmeyer, who works at station 131. "We not only appreciate the Jaycees making a special gesture to remember Mifflin firefighters who work on Christmas, but it (also) is good to feel appreciated. What firefighter doesn't love cookies?"