Grand County EMS personnel picked up lunch at Gloria’s cafe, courtesy of Moab BASE jumpers. [Facebook photo]

Moab BASE jumpers treated Grand County first responders to a free lunch at Gloria’s cafe last week; Gloria’s gave a 25% discount on the meals.

“We’re always trying to be proactive about embracing a positive relationship with a place that allows us to do what we love,” said Matt Lajeunesse, a member of the nonprofit Moab BASE Association. The group evolved from the Turkey Boogie, an annual fall BASE jumper fundraising event in Moab. Proceeds from the Boogie are donated to various local organizations, including Grand County EMS and Search and Rescue.

Several years ago, organizers of the Turkey Boogie decided that instead of giving away every dollar from the fundraiser, they’d start a “rainy day” fund. One year, for example, they donated rainy day funds to the families of local workers who were killed in an accident at the Potash Mine.

Lajeunesse had been thinking of spending rainy day funds on a free meal for first responders for a few months; when he and other organizers took steps to make it happen, it came together pretty quickly, he said. Gloria’s was enthusiastic about the idea, and encouraged Moab BASE Association to include not just Grand County EMS and Search and Rescue, but also police officers and the Moab Valley Fire Department. Throughout the day, over 40 first responders picked up a free meal at the cafe. The tab came to about $700, and Moab BASE Association tipped all the servers.

Lajeunesse hopes the idea builds momentum; he’d like to see it happen twice a year in the future.

Grand County EMS thanked the Moab BASE Association in an Aug. 5 Facebook post:

“Big thank you to Gloria’s and the BASE jumping community for hooking us up. We’re grateful to have such a supportive community!”