We are all busy these days and have lots of responsibilities, so who has the time or energy to even think about giving a few hours a week to charity? Well, Jacqueline Gonzalez does just that – and more! The wife of retired Engineer Rey Gonzalez and mother of Firefighter Eric, Jacque has become a fixture at LAFRA events such as Hope for Firefighters and the Invitational Golf Tournament. In addition, she is a regular at the LAFRA offices, helping out with administrative tasks and pre-event duties. For going above and beyond, Jacqueline was recently honored as the LAFRA Volunteer of the Year.
Your Relief Association gathered up all of their volunteers on April 12th and treated them to a luncheon at the historic Engine Company No. 28 restaurant on Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Built in 1912, the structure served as an operating fire station until it was closed in the 1960s. In the late 1980s, it was renovated as a restaurant that serves dishes based on recipes from American firehouses. In 1979, the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
LAFRA Vice President and part-time paramedic, Bob Steinbacher, acted as emcee for the get-together. He thanked the volunteers for their dedication and hard work, acknowledging that without their help, it would be impossible to stage the many events that benefit the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen’s Fund.
Special plaques were presented to the Volunteers of the Month for 2013 who included Rebecca Romas (daughter of Capt Steve and Mona), Deborah Lew, Cindy Firestine, Rey Gonzalez, Michael Ha, Griselda Trejo, Christina Winstead, Dawna Fry, Caroline Tse, Edra Bonsall and Phi Tran.
Veteran volunteers Noel and Cathy Murchet, Gerry and Jan Layton, and Valerie Lawrence were also on hand for the festivities. And the list collaborators continues to grow – two servers from Engine Company 28 were so impressed by LAFRA and WODFF that they signed up on the spot to become volunteers.
If you would like to become a volunteer, please visit www.givetoahero.org
By Dave Wagner