President’s Message – December 2018

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The end of the year is upon us once again, and with it, a time to reflect back at the highlights and the challenges of the past twelve months. To get the challenge portion out of the way, the issues with pensions have weighed heavily on me all year long. Long hours were put in to protect the interests of the Relief Association and its members, and the positive results we obtained mirrored that. However, going forward I ask you to continue to pay close attention to future updates—the battle continues.

Our thoughts also go out to all the victims of the tragic shooting in Thousand Oaks and the devastating fires of LA County and Ventura County. Though, it is hard to make sense of certain events, it is encouraging to see people of all backgrounds come together and help one another during these trying times. It gives me hope for the future.

Now for the positives of the year. We had our largest turnout ever for multiple events during the year. The Pechanga Reunion was a resounding success. Active and retired members filled the resort with both camaraderie and good times as they enjoyed each other’s company. Make plans early to attend next year’s event. Also, if you have never attended Hope for Firefighters, you are missing out. 2018 was a banner year for the event, with plans for a bigger and better 2019 already in the works. I also want to give a quick shout out to all the clubs and individuals that continue to support our organization. To the individuals that participate in events such as the Kemper Classic, Over-The-Line, Hook and Ladder, Buzzard Bait, all the golf and handball tournaments, Fire Hogs and the many memorial motorcycle rides, a heartfelt thank you.

Elections are over. Jeff and I have been elected by this board to serve for the calendar year of 2019. We are both looking forward to another year of service with the hope of continuing the tradition of excellence expected of us all here at the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association.

In the minutes of the October meeting of the Board of Trustees, you will see that we approved changing the name of the WODFF to the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighters Fund. This change only occurred after a great deal of discussion, deliberation, and reflection. We have submitted the necessary paperwork to the State of California to incorporate this fund with the name change. The WODFF is the backbone of the Relief Association and modifying its name will only enhance the ability of our charitable arm to help firefighters and their families in need, now and into the future.

With the holiday season now in full swing, I want to take this time to wish all our members, employees, and associates of the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association a happy holiday season. Though this time can bring on different emotions and stresses for all, it is my hope that we all take the time to look around and see what is really important—our friends, family and mostly our fellow human beings. Material things will come and go in our lives, but the effort of a spoken kind word or act of charity for those who are in need can make a lasting impression that no amount of money can buy.

Be safe and be kind to each other!

Robert D. “SteinTalker” Steinbacher
president@lafra.org
323.259.5200

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