Area firefighters and the families of the recently fallen Houston firefighters filled the ballroom of Hotel ZaZa for the "First Responders Answering the Call Luncheon," held on Sept. 11. With more than 300 guests, the event raised in excess of $150,000 for the Fire Fighters Foundation of Houston, funds earmarked for the purchase of equipment for firefighters.
Foundation board member Philamena Baird served as luncheon chair, seeing to it that the red hot decor, thanks to Darryl & Co., uplifted the spirits on the solemn anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In his remarks to the gathering, newly-elected foundation board president Lee Vela noted, "We set aside this day to honor those that serve us and we wanted to pay respect to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice."
KHOU Channel 11 news anchor Len Cannon emceed the event that featured former Green Beret and Special Forces commander Dale Buckner as guest speaker. Special guests were New York City firefighters.
Supporters included Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Houston Fire Department Chief Terry Garrison, Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery, Conroe Mayor Webb Melder, David Wuthrich, Jason Fuller, Sue Walden, Bobby Singh, Tammy Bettancourt, William Goldberg and a host of Houston city council members and judges.