While firefighters and their families got together to share some good cheer at the 2014 Relief Association Open House in December, it was also a time to bid adieu to the quarters on Colorado Blvd. Next year LAFRA will be housed nearby at 7470 Figueroa St and the annual Open House will also be a House Warming party.
And firemen do know how to throw a party – certainly when there’s a host bar and the specialty drinks are “Boomtown” Bloody Marys and Merry Mai Tais. There was also quite a spread for the party-goers, prepared this year by Executive Chef Dennis Timashpolsky of Cornucopia Catering. There were way too many great dishes to mention them all but how about Pineapple & Goat Cheese Quesadillas, Hawaiian Crusted Tenderloin, Freshly Roasted Pineapple Cranberry Glazed Turkey, “Boomtown” Baby Back Ribs, Grilled Chicken Kabobs, and Sausage with Peppers & Onions in Beer Broth, just to name a few. And this year there were two dessert rooms overflowing with the likes of Lemon Drop Squares, Raspberry Mousse Tarts, Cheesecake Tarts and Cannolis.
According to LAFRA Logistics Section Chief Juliette Brandolino, “The desserts are always a favorite, so we made sure that there were more than enough of Dennis’ sweet creations for everyone to enjoy.”
This year the Relief Association honored recently retired Engineer Ray Mayo for his decades of dedication to the LAFD, the Relief Association and his fellow firefighters. Ray, accompanied by his wife Lorraine – and what seemed to be scores of family members – was introduced by LAFRA President Juan Albarran, who presented him with a helmet plaque depicting his two most favorite assignments – 14’s and 64’s. Ray said just a few humble words, declaring that the tribute really should be for the many unsung guys who worked behind the scenes to make all the events so successful.
In addition to the food, drink and camaraderie, guests were entertained by a strolling magician – Magic Castle award winner Joe Skilton, had a chance to pose for pix with “photos and Fountains” – a mobile photo booth owned operated by FF Jerrod Webster, and were able to get a jump on Xmas shopping for firefighter gifts from LAFD Fire Apparel – who set up in the foyer downstairs.
Special thanks to the cadre of regular LAFRA volunteers who took shifts to greet and direct guests as they arrived: Lydia Andrews, Lori Madden, Rose Franco, Jennifer Petty, Virginia Newcomb, Cindy Firestine, Melissa McComas, Jeanne Urquiza, Emily Pizinger, Mary Pizinger and Karen Barnhill. Thanks also to Cadet Post 89 members Rocio Pelayo, Roee Losycer and Jenson Martinez who greeted guests and provided parking control.
Be sure and mark your calendars for next year for a visit to the new 7470 building. You’ll want to stop by and see how your LAFRA dollars are being used to assist the membership.
By Dave Wagner
Photos by David Blaire