On Sunday, September 10th, 2023, the Annual LAFD Memorial Car Show took place, commemorating the fallen heroes of 9/11. This year, LAFRA and Chief Hissong of the LAFD joined forces to raise funds for the Widows, Orphans, and Disabled Firefighters Fund. Notably, this year’s event was made possible through In-service Training, which granted LAFRA access to the lower lot at FHMTC. The lower lot was graced by over 150 custom cars, attracting both vendors and spectators.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the dedicated volunteers who braved the scorching heat to contribute to this event. Special appreciation is extended to Valerie Lawrence, the widows, and the wives of our fire department personnel, who selflessly took time from their lives to show their unwavering support.
The day commenced with a stirring rendition of the national anthem, followed by a dramatic LAFD helicopter flyover. Shortly after, LAFD cadets delighted the public and families with a captivating performance. Approximately 50 cadets, representing seven posts under the leadership of Patricia Arias and numerous advisers, vied for the coveted top post. The competition remained fierce until the very end, with the top three posts awarded to post 81 in first place, post 64 in second place, and post 94 in third place.
In attendance at this remarkable event were LAFRA President Chris Stine and his family, who graciously provided an interview to Channel 7 News, shedding light on LAFRA’s mission and the significance of such events in not only providing financial support to the widows and orphans of the fire department but also fostering camaraderie within the community.
All the delectable food offerings were generously donated by Restaurant Depot and East Side Deli. Special thanks go out to Mark Curry and Greg Pascola, the barbecue pit masters of the day, for their culinary expertise that resulted in substantial and delicious plates of food.
I would also like to express gratitude to the dedicated MC and DJ who donated their time to make this event a success. The car show featured a diverse array of vehicles, including VWs, bombers, hot rods, low riders, and various other car types. The day’s activities also encompassed a raffle and silent auction, which saw several lucky winners walk away with valuable prizes and unique experiences. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who generously donated.
Last but not least, we extend our gratitude to the numerous vendors who participated in support of this event. In closing, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to LAFRA for entrusting me with the opportunity to organize this outstanding event. We eagerly anticipate the next year’s edition, which you can keep an eye out for in The Grapevine, on the LAFD website, and across all major social media platforms.
By Kenny Breskin