Only one room was available Thursday at the Comfort Inn.
Ro Ann Mitzner was waiting for those who had reserved rooms to show up. She smiled and showed courtesy to every guest who walked in the door. If she was upset for working on a holiday, nobody would know it.
When she was handed a plate of cookies for her hard work on Thanksgiving Day, her face lit up. It was an unexpected surprise.
“This is a first for me,” she said, with a large smile on her face.
She joked that she had planned to make cookies for guests, and these chocolate chip and Thanksgiving-decorated sugar cookies beat her to it.
It was the reaction we had hoped for. The Hutchinson News wanted to give back to those who spent their holiday hard at work. Obviously, we couldn’t give to everyone. But their hard work is appreciated.
We attempted to give cookies to EMS, to no avail. So we walked around the corner to the Hutchinson Police Department.
After running a story in the Thanksgiving Day edition about Hutchinson Police officers detaining a mannequin, we thought it might be nice to spread a little cheer. Officer Dayton Gates answered the door.
He happened to be one of the officers involved with removing the mannequin. He jokingly grimaced when he saw photographer Tim Goessman and me at the door.
“That story, by the way …” he said, noting it had become the running joke at the station.
So we handed him cookies, told him we were glad police only had routine calls so far and we went on our way.
Across town, Hastings Books, Gifts and Music was open as it geared up for its Black Thursday sales. Manager Mark Jones asked if I needed help. I handed him a plate of cookies.
He couldn’t help but smile.
The store had about 15 people working Thursday afternoon. The first Black Thursday sale started at 5 p.m.
“We’re fairly busy today,” Jones said.
About a dozen cars were in the parking lot.
Heading east on 30th Avenue, cars were coming and going at Pic-Quik. Cashiers Diane Reed and Tyler Sullivan were working their first Thanksgiving shift at the convenience store.
They were pleasantly shocked to get a plate of cookies. Normally, traffic is people pumping gas or doing some small-item shopping.
“We’ve had quite a few people coming in,” Sullivan said.
“We’re busier today than on other days,” Reed agreed.
Then we headed south to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center. As we pulled into the parking lot, the medical helicopter was taking off.
So we went to the emergency room.
Amber MacArthur and Stacey Cagle, nurses in the emergency room, were able to take a few minutes for a breather shortly after 2 p.m. They smiled and graciously accepted the cookies.
Thankfully, the emergency room wasn’t too busy.
“I hope it stays that way,” MacArthur said.
She was in the midst of an eight-hour shift. At the time, there were nine nurses and two doctors working in the emergency room.
Back to The Hutchinson News, where carriers were still working in the early afternoon to deliver the newspaper after a production problem caused a delay.
And, of course, we were back to the copy editors and page designers, who worked through the evening to bring today’s edition.
They will always gladly accept a cookie or two.
Kristen Roderick/All That Buzz