MAHOPAC, N.Y. – First responders, active military members and veterans will be honored by the Mahopac High School athletic department on Friday, Oct. 4, prior to the varsity football game against Suffern.

A reception will be held in the high school gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. followed by a 6:15 ceremony on the turf field. The purpose of the evening is to “say thank you and honor people who have been so instrumental in our community in making Mahopac one of the greatest places to live,” said Frank Miele, athletic director.

A similar ceremony took place in December 2001, just months after the 9/11 attacks, when Miele first held the position of athletic director.

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Held before a Mahopac basketball game, the ceremony included a performance by the school’s chorus and the national anthem played by a bagpiper.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” Miele said. “At the time, it still was a very emotional period in our lives.”

Miele, who returned this year for his second stint as athletic director, said he is “big on honoring people.”

“I’m big on our athletes saying thank you because they have a lot of privileges,” Miele said. “And where else to do it but in front of a huge crowd at a football game?”

Miele said his department has already extended invites to local firefighters, EMTs, police, veterans organizations, and elected officials.

“We think it’s going to be a special night,” Miele said. “People have really responded.”

RSVP to the athletic department at 845-628-3256, ext. 11450, or mongonl@mahopac.org.

The Indians will kick-off against Suffern at 7 p.m.