By Joel Hillan

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – A retirement community came together Thursday to say thank you to first responders, and sometimes those thank-yous are best served up in scoops — with sprinkles.

(credit: CBS)

“Well, I love them all, and I just told him, I hope he never knocks on my door,” said Georgia Atkinson.

Georgia has been a resident at Covenant Village of Colorado in Westminster for 13 years.

“They already really like us and they’re used to coming over here, so it’s almost like coming and taking care of family after all these years.”

The ice cream social is not only a way for residents to show appreciation to first responders, but also to have a chance to talk in a non-emergency setting.

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Samuel Pendleton is the Station Captain for Station 3 says the residents have always shown a spirit of gratitude.

“Whether we’re going through the lobby with our gear to help somebody or leaving, they are always saying thank you to us.”

Whether they are here for a get-together or an emergency, Samuel says he enjoys the chance to rub shoulders with the residents.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s great to be here with them and have a different generation kind of shine light into our world, it’s awesome.”

Samuel says the retirement community is proactive in reaching out to first responders to build relationships of trust and a shared sense of responsibility to the residents they both serve.

“They do a lot of good community outreach with us to say, ‘Hey, how can we work together better?’”

(credit: CBS)

Covenant Village says this Ice Cream Social has become an important annual tradition and one they look forward to each year.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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