The United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties’ annual Day of Caring will be held on Sept. 11 this year, with the morning ceremony held from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds grandstand.

This year’s ceremony will be a little different than past years. As the event falls on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the ceremony will be a special Patriot Day ceremony, said Brooke Fisher-Clark, executive director of United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties. Typically, the morning ceremony highlights local high schools that are working in the community.

The ceremony will recognize “emergency responders still supporting our community and nation today,” according to a press release, including volunteer teams, veterans, active duty military, fire, police, National Guard and emergency responder services.

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Fisher-Clark encouraged first responders in the community to attend the morning ceremony to be honored.

After the ceremony, volunteers will go out into the community as usual to work on projects. This year, those projects include painting at the Humane Society of Cowlitz County, repairing fences and work on several school gardens with the Lower Columbia school gardens and installing flooring at new Habitat for Humanity house, Fisher-Clark said.

There are several special projects this year focused on first responders as well, such as updating lighting at Cowlitz County Fire District 6 station. Fisher-Clark said United Way offered local emergency responders help with projects if they needed it as part of the Patriot Day focus.

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