Last week on October 24th, the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund celebrated its 28th Annual Gala at The Waldorf Astoria. The gala raised over $2.4 million with 800 guests in attendance. Honorees for the evening included Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg who received a Special Civic Leadership Award and NYSE Euronext and its Fallen Heroes Fund.
Line-up of guests in attendance included: Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly; Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano; Superintendent of PAPD Michael Fedorko; Benefit Fund Founder Rusty Staub; Benefit Fund Board Member Mark Messier; Honorary Chairs Al Roker, Deborah Roberts and Gloria Reuben; Stephen J. Dannhauser, Chairman, New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.
Live Performances by actress and singer Gloria Reuben, and Amanda Lupo, granddaughter of a fallen NYPD Police Officer, who sang the National Anthem. Colorguard and Bagpipers of the NYPD, FDNY and PAPD entered the gala with a moving procession. Highlighting the evening was a special reading of a letter to her father by Brielle Bellew, daughter of FDNY Firefighter John Bellew, who died in the line of duty in 2005.
Auction items included: Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, Salvatore Cassano, provided guests with a ride with FDNY Marine Operations on the “Three Forty Three” Fireboat, named in memory of the 343 members of the FDNY that perished on 9/11, it is the country’s largest fireboat. The members of Marine 1 give a scenic tour of the New York Harbor followed by lunch at the Marine 1 headquarters. This experience raised $40,000 for two winners.
Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Raymond Kelly, provided a tour with New York’s Finest including an inside look at the Crime Scene Unit, Firearms & Tactics Division, Bomb Squad and Firearms Analysis Unit. This firsthand experience included training like an NYPD Cadet with New York’s Finest. This experience raised $21,500.
Superintendent of the PAPD, Michael Fedorko, provided an insider’s look at history from inside WTC1. Guests experience the courage required for rebuilding downtown and share this massive project previously viewed by Heads of State, along with a tour of the National September 11th Museum and Memorial and lunch with the PAPD Superintendent. This experience raised $14,000.
The Empire State Building lit up the skyline in red, white and blue honoring the Benefit Fund heroes when Donnie Wahlberg, star of Blue Bloods on CBS, flipped the switch on October 22.
The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund provides assistance to the families of New York City Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Port Authority Police and EMS Personnel who have been killed in the line of duty. Since its inception in 1985 by Daniel J. “Rusty” Staub, the charity has distributed over $126 million to hundreds of families.
The Benefit Fund provides immediate and ongoing financial assistance in the form of annual distributions to grieving families after they lose their loved one. In addition, the Benefit Fund provides an ongoing network of support and gatherings for these families to cope and connect after such tragedy. The Benefit Fund currently serves over 600 families, and the goal is to raise enough funds to provide meaningful annual distributions to beneficiaries for the remainder of their lives. Please visit www.answerthecall.org.
Via Andrea & Associates