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Corinth Rotary president Ellis Rhett presents $50 gift cards from Gardner’s and Roger’s Supermarket to Corinth Police Chief Ralph Dance and Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell on the steps of the Alcorn County Courthouse. Also participating in the event were Kiwanis president Reid Bostick and Civitan president Zeb Taylor, along with Corinth Police Assistant Chief Josh Fortenberry and Gardner’s and Roger’s owner Mark Gardner.

They work countless hours serving and protecting the lives of citizens but often go unnoticed with very little to no thanks from those they are protecting and serving.

That all changed recently when a trio of local civic clubs demonstrated just how much the men and women of the Corinth Police and Alcorn County Sheriff’s departments mean to their communities.

The Rotary, Civitan and Kiwanis clubs joined forced and purchased $50 gift cards from Roger’s and Gardner’s Supermarkets for all law enforcement officers and deputies in the city and county. Club officials presented the cards to Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell and Corinth Police Chief Ralph Dance on the steps of the historic Alcorn County Courthouse.

“The idea for this came from last year’s Rotary president Jennifer Taylor who suggested we do something different so that it reaches everyone in both departments,” said current Rotary president Ellis Rhett. “The board liked the idea and we contacted the Civitans as well as the Kiwanis and they were all in. We all jumped at the idea.”

According to Rhett, 128 cards were distributed.

“Mark (Gardner) was totally all for doing this and was thrilled to be able to be a part of it. The idea was to show our peace officers just how much we appreciate them and we wanted to do something that everyone of them could enjoy,” added Rhett.

With the public image of law enforcement officers, along with the defunding of police departments across the country, Caldwell and Dance agreed a simple and kind act such as this can be a huge morale booster for those in their charge.

“We see it every day,” said Caldwell. “The reputations of law officers being attacked. It certainly doesn’t help the morale of our department, or any department in the country for that matter. But we are fortunate to work in a community that appreciates us and these gift cards are greatly appreciated.”

Dance accepted the gift cards for the police department from Rhett along with Civitan president Zeb Taylor and Kiwanis president Reid Bostick.

“This means a lot to every one of us and will help out tremendously,” said Dance.

Bostick said the Kiwanis has always been a group that likes to help people whenever possible.

“We wanted to do something positive for our law enforcement officers and show them that they are, indeed, appreciated and their service is valued,” he added.

Taylor added, “we obviously want our officers to know that we support them for putting their lives on the line for us every single day.”

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