FirefighterAid's charity event honors those who died on September 11th 2001, and brings Firefighters The San Diego 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is a annual charity event that honors the sacrifice of the heroes and victims of 9/11/01 by climbing the equivalent of the same number of stories of the World Trade Towers, 110 stories.
Operating as usual
Hello climbers, volunteers, sponsors, and donors! We're trying to help get the word out that the San Diego Fire Relief Association is hiring for a Member Engagement and Claims Representative. They're looking to fill this position by next Friday, 8/12.
San Diego Fireman's Relief Association Jobs and Careers | Indeed.com 1 San Diego Fireman's Relief Association jobs. Apply to the latest jobs near you. Learn about salary, employee reviews, interviews, benefits, and work-life balance
Another week closer to our goal! We are so impressed by all of our fundraisers and donors who made last week our best yet.
Registration spots are filling fast-register here ASAP!
We know you don't do it for the prizes...but they make fundraising more fun!
How do you win a Stair Climb merchandise basket? If you have fundraised $110 since registration opened, you will automatically be entered into the raffle. For every $50 fundraised after that, you will get another ticket.
Raffle tickets will be drawn and the winner will be announced Friday. Friday marks the start of a new raffle period, so keep up the great work!
Another Top Team Tuesday post already? The leaderboard is getting closer to our goal!
Want to start fundraising or join a fundraising team? Register to climb (or just to fundraise!) here: https://raceroster.com/events/2022/60097/2022-san-diego-911-memorial-stair-climb.
Photos from FirefighterAid's post
Happy Tuesday! Our hard-working fundraisers and teams are getting us closer to our goal every week. Still need to register? Click below and help us help our heroes!
We are so grateful for all of our teams and individuals working hard to make our 2022 the best one yet!
Here's a look at our top fundraisers as of this morning. See your team? Feel free to tag yourself! Keep an eye out for next week's Top Team Tuesday and keep up the great work!
Love Stair Climb merch? We do too! These designs (and plenty more) are available on our website: https://www.firefighteraid.org/our-shop/?product-page=1.
Stair Climb is back! For more information on the event and registration, go to
https://raceroster.com/events/2022/60097/2022-san-diego-911-memorial-stair-climb. We can't wait to see you there!
2021 End of Year Giving Be a hero to a hero this holiday season! Firefighters help us in our darkest of times, and FirefighterAid is there for them and their families in theirs. We all need a helping hand once in a while, so please join us in aiding our firefighters and their families, especially during the holidays.
A big thank you is in order for our friends at the National First Responders Fund for giving us the opportunity to join their climbers, the USS Midway Museum and the SD FDNY Retired for allowing us to gather and remember those we lost on 9/11 at their 20th Anniversary Ceremony, and to all the climbers who got creative and carried on the Stair Climb tradition. We hope to see you at next year’s San Diego 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb!
For our last hero post of 2021, we ask for you to please pause in honor of Firefighter Sean Hanley's heroism and bravery on September 11th, 2001. FF Hanley, we promise to Never Forget your fighting spirit.
Firefighter, FDNY, Ladder 20, New York, NY
Inside the Ladder Company 20 firehouse, Sean S. Hanley yells: "Mike Hopkins, house phone!" Firefighter Hopkins picks up the receiver and says hello. There's no one on the line, but a big glop of shaving cream, concealed in the earpiece, now covers the side of his head. Through it, he can hear Sean Hanley laughing. At the annual "Tough Man" boxing match between the Police Department and the Fire Department, Firefighter Hanley summoned to the ring at the last minute, jabs his way to victory. And here's a parade of beautiful women passing the firehouse. They all know Firefighter Hanley, 35. His colleagues complain about having to wait for his leftovers. Hammering together an improved house-watch area, he just laughs. He was Patricia and Gerald Hanley's third son, a New Yorker, and a fearless fireman in a family thick with them. His father, brother and one grandfather all retired from the department; his other grandfather was killed on the job before his probie year was out. On her 60th birthday, Firefighter Hanley's mother got a bouquet of 60 roses from him. And when his brother Gerry mentioned not long ago that his child-care arrangements had fallen through, he said he'd help. It didn't matter that at the time he was sitting in a plane on the runway, about to take off for a vacation in Las Vegas. "Sean got off the plane and said he would watch the kids," his mother said. Las Vegas, he figured, could wait.
On this day, 20 years ago, we lost 403 heroes and countless civilians. Their legacies live on through our retelling of their stories, continuing their climb, and upholding our vows to Never Forget the tragic events that unfolded on September 11th, 2001.
We ask that you join us in a moment of silence this Patriot's Day to honor the selfless, heroism that these brave people showed in a time when their city and country needed them most.
Join us in a moment of silence to honor fallen hero, Scott Davidson. Your legacy lives on through your family and friends who share their fond memories.
Firefighter, FDNY, Ladder 118, Staten Island, NY
Like many adults who are still children at heart, Scott M. Davidson loved Christmas. In fact, his friends in Staten Island called him Christmas Boy. One year he drove up to Perry Seridge's apartment with Christmas tree lights strung around his car, all lighted up. When cautioned that wiring lights to the car battery could be unsafe, he held up a finger and began rummaging through the pile of sweaty basketball clothes in his back seat. After a few minutes, Firefighter Davidson, 33, a member of Ladder Company 118 in Brooklyn Heights, found what he was looking for: a fire extinguisher. Triumphantly, he proclaimed, "I got it covered." Firefighter Davidson was also a bartender; the father of Peter, and Casey, a substitute teacher at Intermediate School 49 near his home in Brooklyn, and an unabashed patriot long before the World Trade Center fire that he died fighting on Sept. 11. "He loved all things American," Mr. Seridge said. "I used to think it was kind of rare, really, especially for a young guy who had never been in a war. Looking at it now, it was nice. He'd be really happy now that everyone would have flags out."
Please join us in celebrating Scott Larsen's life. He was a family man who dedicated his life to his family at home and in the station. We will Never Forget your legacy.
Firefighter, FDNY, Ladder 15, New York, NY
When Scott A. Larsen finished a shift at the firehouse — "He was very good with the tools; he fit right into the place," said Brian Cleary, his friend from Ladder Company 163 — off he'd go in pursuit of more activity, usually with his three children. He outfitted them with Rollerblades, and got them onto their bicycles on summer days. He could spend an entire day at the beach, then fix dinner on the grill. During the midwinter school break, he packed everyone into the car and drove from their home in Glendale, Queens, to Disney World, stopping to spend the night in North Carolina, to buy sparklers in South Carolina, to sample as many Dairy Queens as possible below the Mason-Dixon line. It meant 12 hours of driving at a stretch, but he loved it. On arrival, Firefighter Larsen, who was 35, headed for Space Mountain, where he usually rode solo. "He'd try to convince the kids to go on it," said his wife, Carolann. "Once he bribed them with a stuffed animal. They came off scared like anything." The children are Marisa, Brenda, and Scott. On Sept. 13, their little brother was born. Mrs. Larsen named him August, a name she and her husband had chosen.
An all around good man leaves an all around great legacy. Please pause and join us in honoring Scott Kopytko and his family.
Firefighter, FDNY, Ladder 15, New York, NY
Scott Michael Kopytko, age 32, attended St. John's University where he received a Bachelor of Science, was a member of the honor society, and was one semester away from completing his Master's in Finance. He worked as a Commodities Broker in the World Trade Center and in November 1998 he realized his dream of becoming a New York City Firefighter. He immediately began preparing for the FDNY Lieutenant's exam that he approached with great zeal as he felt the FDNY was his true calling and his lifelong career. His interests varied from world history to the arts, science to pop culture, finance to Ford Mustangs. He loved sports and participated in many--basketball, handball, playing pool, darts and golf to name a few. His quick wit, sense of humor, love of family, friends and his dedication to his job and all the new brothers he had found made him a very special man.
Raise a glass to honor Santos Valentin Jr's legacy with us. May we Never Forget his humor, humility, and heroism .
Santos Valentin, Jr
Police Officer, NYPD, New York, NY
There is a saying among police officers: "When people are in trouble, they call the cops. When cops are in trouble, they call Emergency Service." Santos Valentin Jr., a member of the New York Police Department's Emergency Service Squad 7, answered the call on Sept. 11. Officer Valentin was a sharpshooter trained in counterterrorism tactics, said his sister, Sgt. Denise Valentin, and his family thought that if anyone could come out alive in this attack, it would be him. What have lived on are the memories - of the jokes he played on his colleagues, of how he loved his dog, Luger (so much that he would leave the Animal Planet channel on for him when he was not home), of his love for family and friends, and of his bravery. Officer Valentin was not afraid of death, but he did hate funerals. So, his family gave him a send-off at the rubble of the World Trade Center, where he was last seen. He loved his Budweiser, so they poured him a can and said their goodbyes.
Tonight, we honor Samuel Oitice. We ask that you join us in sending love, strength, and kindness to the entire family.
Firefighter, FDNY, Ladder 4, Peekskill, NY
Samuel Oitice, 45, firefighter, FDNY, Ladder 4. A life-long Peekskill resident, Oitice worked there as a policeman before joining the FDNY. He was also a member of the Peekskill Volunteer Fire Department. A devoted father of two children, Oitice was active in the local schools. He gave fire safety talks and founded a roller hockey team for teenagers. The Peekskill school district has established a scholarship fund in Oitice's name.
Please pause in a moment of honor to reflect on the heroism, selflessness, and kindness of Firefighter Calabro. We promise to Never Forget your legacy.
Firefighter, FDNY, Ladder 101, New York, NY
Here is one thing that says a lot about Salvatore B. Calabro: He wore a tattoo of a cross and roses on his right forearm, with the inscription, "In memory of Mom 11-30-89." His mother, Connie, struggled to raise him and his two brothers on her own; he never forgot. Mr. Calabro made his mother proud, a good boy from Bath Beach, Brooklyn, who wore a firefighters' uniform for 14 years, said his father-in-law, Francis Carillo, a retired New York City police officer. Mr. Calabro, 38, built a solid middle class life for his wife, Francene, and two sons, Daniel, and Alexander James. Another thing that spoke to his essence: He was a good son-in-law. It had nothing to do with toeing the line because he married one of two daughters of a police officer. He was just that way, Mr. Carillo said. "When I met him, I had guarded feelings," said Mr. Carillo. "He was marrying my baby daughter. But as I got to know him, all of that went away. He became the son I never had. "He was a gentle person, but he had the heart and courage of a lion," Mr. Carillo said.
Your heart was even more legendary than your meals. We promise to Never Forget your heroism and service.
Ruben D. Correa
Firefighter, FDNY, Engine 74, New York, NY
He would start in at 10 in the morning, pestering the men of Engine Company 74 on the Upper West Side for a chance to rule the kitchen for a day. "How 'bout I make some fat boys tonight?" Ruben Correa would say, promising steak-and-cheese hoagies that would make them cry for more. The other firemen say that when they sat down to eat, Firefighter Correa, 44, always watched them dig in before taking his first bite, making sure they liked what he had cooked. The only place that the big former marine liked more than his firehouse was his home. He scrimped and saved and even sold his car to come up with enough money to move his wife, Susan, and their three girls into their own house in Staten Island two years ago. It made for a long commute to the Upper West Side, but it meant the girls could leave their bicycles in the driveway. After years of unmerciful badgering by his colleagues, Firefighter Correa agreed a few years ago to become catcher for the firehouse's softball team. He was called Yogi, and like the Yankee great, he saw the game as "90 percent mental, the other half physical." He had an arm like a wrecking ball, powerful yet unpredictable. But he played like a marine, with guts and grit. "Ruben's greatest fault," said Daniel Murphy, a fellow firefighter who has been the Correa family's liaison with the Fire Department since Sept. 11, "was that he never learned to take the first pitch."
You're a millionaire in our hearts Ronnie. We promise to Never Forget your heroism and dedication to your family and fire house.
Firefighter, FDNY, Engine 279, Newburgh, NY
He may have been earning a fireman's salary, but Ronnie Lee Henderson planned all along to turn that into more. He pared money from his paycheck and put it into bonds and mutual funds. In the quiet hours at the Engine Company 279 firehouse in Red Hook, he could be found reading books with titles like "How to Make Money Buying and Selling Houses." "I'd say to him, `What are you doing? You're a fireman, you know what we get paid,' " said a friend, Gary Kakeh. The father of four children, Mr. Henderson also helped raise his five younger siblings. His advice to all of them was consistent: stay in school, save your money. He figured out travel routes that enabled him to avoid paying bridge and tunnel tolls, and would stand in line for hours to get the store specials, said his sister, Sharon. As a teenager, he got a job in a Frito-Lay factory and got to bring home the extra potato chips. Naturally, he shared them with the rest of his family. "And he'd charge us a nickel," she added. "He was always telling us he was going to be a millionaire," Ms. Henderson said. "He was a millionaire, by his heart."
Like father like sons. Please join us in remembering Ronnie Gies' heroism and celebrating his sons' journeys to join FDNY in their father's honor.
Firefighter, FDNY, Squad 288, Merrick, NY
One of the most difficult times in Ronnie E. Gies's life came in 2008, when his family's home in Merrick, on Long Island, burned down. It was not so much the destruction that upset Firefighter Gies, 43, of Squad 288 in Maspeth, Queens, but the fact that he was suddenly the recipient of favors and good will from neighbors, instead of being the benefactor. "It was very difficult for him to be receiving and not giving," said his wife, Carol. "Someone would call at 3 in the morning because their toilet was clogged, and Ronnie was there." Luckily, Firefighter Gies was also a carpenter. With a little help, in six months he built the family a new home, with a basement big enough to serve as hang-out headquarters for his sons, Thomas, Ronnie, Robert, and their friends. A couple of years before, Firefighter Gies took the lieutenant's test, after studying for hours at the dining room table. Mrs. Gies was told her husband had been pegged for a promotion on Sept. 10. "It meant a lot to him to be promoted," Mrs. Gies said. "He never knew."
Close your eyes and please pause fora moment of silence in honor of Officer Kloefer and his family.
Ronald Phillip Kloepfer
Police Officer, NYPD, Franklin Square, NY
Within the tight fraternity of the New York City Police Department is an even tighter fraternity the 25 men, from officers to lieutenants, who wear the blue jerseys of the department's lacrosse team. Ronny Kloepfer, 39, a sniper with the Emergency Service Unit, was their leader. He was founder, coach and midfielder of the six-year-old team, which had a 4-2 record in the annual charity game against its arch-rival, the New York City Fire Department. Officer Kloepfer, who played for Seewanaka High School and then Adelphi University, somehow fit the team into a schedule that included his elite police position, a side job as a contractor and the demands of a young family. His wife, Dawn, and three children Jaime, Taylor, and Casey, were always on the sidelines, as Officer Kloepfer was when his two daughters played their games. Casey was still too young, Mrs. Kloepfer said, but had his own stick from the day he was born. From March to May, the team practiced two or three times a week, from 5 to 7 p.m., at an abandoned junior high school near Officer Kloepfer's home in Franklin Square, N.Y. Now that he is gone, three teammates will run the team, a task Officer Kloepfer managed alone. "We don't know how he did it," said Detective Craig Carson. "We took him for granted almost."
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