The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and the Durham community will come together to honor the men and women who serve and protect our communities during the Second Annual First Responders Appreciation Breakfast on Sept. 11 at 8 a.m. at the Durham Convention Center. Invited speaker is retired Durham Police Department Investigator Teresa Gilliam.

Gilliam joined the Durham Police Department in 1997. She served as uniform patrol until July of 2003 and later as part of the motorcycle unit and traffic and crash team.

On July 25, 2012, Gilliam was struck by a tractor-trailer while conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 85. Her cruiser and the vehicle she had stopped were pushed along the guardrail and came to rest more than 100 feet from where the initial impact began.

Investigator Gilliam sustained major injuries and spent several days in critical condition at Duke University Hospital. The driver of the truck was charged with driving while impaired. The following year she received the Purple Heart Medal for being severely injured in the line of duty. Gilliam retired from the police force in August of 2014.

Nearly 300, including 150 first responders, will attend the event where recognition from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will be given to all areas of first responders. ABC-11 WTVD reporter Amber Rupinta will serve as the mistress of ceremonies.

Underwriting opportunities are still available, including Table Underwriting, which includes a table of 10 (5 seats for first responders and five seats for company reps.) and recognition in the program.

Individuals interested in attending this event should visit the Chamber website here or contact Mable Rogers at 919-328-8731 or A limited number of individual tickets are available.

This event is made possible through the support of the following companies and organizations:

Presenting Sponsor

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

Founding Underwriter

Fidelity Investments

Participating Underwriter

Wells Fargo


Durham Technical Community College

Table Underwriters

City of Durham

Durham County

Durham County Manager’s Office

First Security Service, Inc./ Custom Audio Solutions

Freudenberg IT LP

O’Brien/Atkins Associates, P.A.

PSNC Energy

Thomas, Judy & Tucker

Media Underwriter


Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Award Underwriter

Fairway Outdoor Advertising