New York, NY - November 22, 2016 - As the nation gathers to celebrate and give thanks with family and friends, the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation (NLEAFCF) will host its 16th Annual Thanksgiving Breakfast for the families of first responders who have been killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The November 24th invitation-only event will coincide with the start of the 90th Annual Macy’s NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Local dignitaries including FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, Port Authority of NY & NJ Police Superintendent Michael Fedorko, and representatives from the NYC Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit will join with the line-of-duty families and NLEAFCF Founder and President Al Kahn at the event.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will present former FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano with the NLEAFCF Public Service Hero Award; NYPD Chaplain and retired Detective, Dr. Reverend Barbara Williams-Harris will offer the Benediction. Elizabeth Ovis Schulman will present college student Maxine Dunn with the 2016 Ovis Scholarship Award. Isabelle Gottfried, 11-year-old Broadway Dreamer, will sing the National Anthem.
Commissioner O’Neill, Commissioner Nigro, and Superintendent Fedorko are expected to offer remarks. The NYC Mayor’s Community Affairs office will be present a proclamation naming November 24, 2016 as National Law Enforcement & Firefighters Children’s Foundation Day.
The NLEAFCF is partnering with the Bryant Park Corporation and the Bryant Park Grill to host 1300 children and family members of fallen NYPD officers, FDNY firefighters, Port Authority Police officers, and members of uniformed services from New York and New Jersey for a hot breakfast and front-row viewing of the parade. Each year, line-of-duty families look forward to this meaningful event for the opportunity to gather, express gratitude and ease a sorrow that maybe fades, but never disappears – particularly during difficult times such as the holidays.
“On Thanksgiving, as well as every other day of the year, it is our honor to express our gratitude to first responders and their families – especially to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and to those whose lives have been changed in the course of doing their jobs: keeping all of us safe. For the last 15 years, we have been very honored to host these special families on Thanksgiving, to demonstrate on the day our nation has set aside for expressing gratitude, our thanks for all their sacrifice, service and dedication”, said NLEAFCF President and Founder Al Kahn.
During the breakfast the NLEAFCF board of directors will recognize Salvatore J. Cassano as the recipient of their NLEAFCF 2016 Public Service Hero Award. The award honors distinguished individuals for their effort and passion in supporting our nation’s first responders and their families. Award recipients have demonstrated their dedication to the foundation’s mission through a lifetime of public service. In prior years the award has been presented to The Honorable Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor of the City of New York and William J. Bratton, Police Commissioner of the City of New York.
The NLEAFCF Board of Directors will also recognize the recipient of the 2016 Victoria Ovis Memorial Scholarship, college senior Maxine Dunn. The NLEAFCF awards the scholarship annually to a child of a law enforcement officer or firefighter who was killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The student must be from or be attending school in New York, must have an exemplary academic record as well as a commitment to volunteerism and service to the community. The scholarship commemorates Victoria Ovis who had over 30 years of law enforcement experience with the United States Customs Service and the Department of Homeland Security. The Ovis Memorial Scholarship is one of 25 total scholarships the NLEAFCF awarded to students across the country for this academic year.
Sponsors and individual donors underwrite the costs so the morning is free of charge to the invited children and families. NLEAFCF hosts their annual Thanksgiving event in cooperation with the NYPD, the FDNY, and the Port Authority of NY & NJ Police. The event is sponsored by Platinum Sponsors: Louis Vuitton; inVNT; Gold Sponsors: Presidio; Marilyn and James Simons Charitable Fund; James & Jacqueline Rosinsky; Silver Sponsors: America’s Camp; Guggenheim Partners; Ellipse Films; MSA Security; Greenberg Traurig LLP; Electronix; JVR Electric, Inc.; Mike Emmerman & Patricia Stockhausen; Eugene & Carol Cheng;; Içim and Mark Miller, Global Foundation for First Responders; Bronze Sponsors: Lenovo; David S. Mack – 1st Assistant Commissioner NCPD; CDWG; Thomas and Ann Marie Flood; Century Direct; O/DD; and the Bank of America Winter Village.
About The NLEAFCF
The National Law Enforcement & Firefighters Children's Foundation (NLEAFCF) is committed to ensuring that the needs of children of first responders lost or permanently disabled in the line of duty are met not only at the initial time of crisis, but also into the future. The Foundation recognizes that the loss of a parent impacts a child for a lifetime. The NLEAFCF believes when the ultimate sacrifice has been made it is society’s duty to help the children of these uniformed heroes achieve their full potential. Aid and support is provided in the form of special need grants, hosting of family-friendly events such as the Thanksgiving breakfast, and college scholarships to ensure the children of our fallen heroes can receive the education necessary to thrive as adults and as tomorrow's heroes.
For more information about the 16th Annual Thanksgiving Day Breakfast, or to make a donation, please visit online