Bringing together benefactors and beneficiaries
Since our founding, events have been an integral part of bringing together those who support our mission and those who benefit from our programs. It’s our way of honoring first responder parents, their children and their families.
In 2022, we continued that tradition with a significant increase in the number and scale of events that FRCF produced or participated in with partners. Each of these events are planned strategically to align with our goals and mission and to leverage synergies with partners who have similar but complementary missions. What’s more, our events had an impact on more cities and neighborhoods across an even-broader geographic area of the country.
This outreach strengthened partnerships, expanded our donor base and increased awareness of our Foundation—all of which means reaching more first responder children and families in more comprehensive ways.
THANKSGIVING DAY BREAKFAST/PARADE
Bryant Park Grill/Bryant Park
New York, NY
FRCF’s first Thanksgiving Day Breakfast was held in November 2001, following the aftermath of 9/11 to help heal the spirits of first responder families. At this annual event, we honor first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice and give thanks to their families who also sacrifice year-round to keep us safe. We recognize our scholarship award recipients and hear inspiring messages from leaders in the first responder community and government. More than 21,000 children and relatives of first responders have attended the breakfast over the years, which includes a VIP viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and is free of charge thanks to corporate and individual donors.
Los Angeles, CA
West Coast heroes were recognized at a rooftop event in Los Angeles, where FRCF honored first responders from Malibu Search and Rescue for their heroism, as well as the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles Dodgers for their pop-up COVID-19 vaccine center at Dodger Stadium.
FRCF honored heroes at a fundraising gala held at the elegant Gotham Hall. At the event, we paid tribute to first responders for their heroism, with a special tribute to our valued corporate partner, CSX, highlighted by a mesmerizing performance by Tony Award winner and FRCF Advisory Board Member, Ben Vereen.
NATIONAL FIRST RESPONDERS DAY
We’ve recently added another tentpole event. As you may know, in September 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives designated October 28th as National First Responders Day. On National First Responders Day, our “Roll Call of Heroes” ceremony is held on a national stage in Times Square, and honors a first responder in each line of work who has risked their life to rescue others. They receive the award on behalf of all first responders in their respective first responder category.
We also received proclamations from 13 governors, the Mayor of New York City and the President of the United States. Our hope is to have everyone around the country recognize local first responders on National First Responders Day.
PARADE OF TREES
Parade of Trees harnesses the power and generosity of some of country music’s biggest stars—in partnership with Universal Music Group Nashville and Gaylord Opryland Resort—to support FRCF’s Scholarship and Resiliency programs. Last holiday season, Christmas trees decorated by more than a dozen country artists were on display at The Gaylord Opryland Resort. These distinguished performers also generously contributed “Once in a Lifetime” experiences, including fly-aways, VIP concert experiences and exclusive merchandise, with proceeds from these offerings benefiting FRCF. Tyler Hubbard wanted to do more for the local Nashville community, so we collaborated with Universal Music Group Nashville and local Nashville first responder agencies to create a very special Toy Express event for children at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. In addition to the toys, kids were treated to a private concert at The Ryan Seacrest Studios where Tyler performed for them.