On Saturday, September 14, 2013, the Los Angeles Fire Department Handball Association held the annual 3-Wall Tournament and 911 Memorial at Venice Beach. This Tournament was well attended by firefighters and the best players from Southern California. There were four divisions with eight teams in each, and winners received embroidered Nike duffel bags.
Sponsors for the event were WPH Live, West Coast Handball, Southern California Handball Association, BAMKO, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, the Los Angeles Firefighters Handball Association and the City Employee’s Club.
This event has become an outstanding example of the great relationship between LAFD Handball players and the Southern California Handball Community. Light Force 63 did a great job of prepping the courts and stands on Friday night, which made it possible for everyone to enjoy the beach without the traditional health hazards.
The event has served as a memorial to the brave 343 FDNY firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001. Keith Saffo and Sir Habersham volunteered to provide a Color Guard for the opening ceremony, which included the National Anthem by Gedina Bergstrom from the City Employee’s Club, the pledge of allegiance lead by Celine Smith and Olivia Ortiz – for the 4th time, and an opening prayer lead by Chaplain John White. Deputy Chief Mario Rueda provided opening remarks as the official Department representative.
This year a new T-shirt design was provided by Captain Carlos Caceres, which was so popular that all available shirts sold out immediately after the participants got theirs. Kairi Brown made pulled pork, and Andy Gutierrez served as grill master and official photographer. Special thanks to Colin and Marcella Smith who, along with their daughters and friends, made the tournament run smoothly.
Alfred Kuzichev and Ryon Jones, both from FS-92-C were the only LAFD members who won a Division. The other three Divisions were dominated by more experienced 3-wall players.
On September 21, 2013, Tati Silveyra FS-69-C was inducted to the Southern California Handball Hall of Fame, several LAFD members were there to support him along with retiree Vitto Maggipinto who is also in the Hall of Fame.
The Fall Singles Handball Tournament will begin November 1, 2013, get ready!
By the Commissioner