When a firefighter dies in the line of duty the entire fire service grieves and looks for a way to show the family that their loved one will not be forgotten.
On Sunday, October 28, you can make it happen. Join members of FDNY and the public for the 4th Annual National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters at Belmont Park.
“It’s an honor to take part in the annual National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters because it not only supports our own FDNY members here at home, it also benefits the thousands of men and women in communities across our country who bravely risk their lives to save others each and every day,” said FDNY First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.
Participants will walk 2,200 steps of Belmont’s stadium, symbolizing the 110 stories of the World Trade Center and the ultimate sacrifice that 343 members of FDNY made on September 11, 2001.
The stair climb is also a symbol of hope by raising funds that support programs of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the FDNY’s Counseling Services Unit. Both organizations aid families and co-workers of fallen firefighters.
“Symbolically walking in the footsteps of the 343 heroes who gave their lives on September 11th is a moving experience, and I would encourage all who are able to take part,” said Kavanagh.
Participants will receive a commemorative event shirt and a name badge for the firefighter they are honoring. Gates open and on-site registration begins at 9:00 am.
After-Climb Activities for Everyone:
This family-friendly event includes activities and entertainment for everyone at the After Party.
Critically acclaimed Kirsten Thien will perform during the afternoon. Thien’s soulful delivery of her insightful and sensual songs has earned her regular radio chart positions, along with international press and radio airplay. Comparisons abound, from Keb’ Mo’ to Sheryl Crow. But Thien has carved out her own unique Contemporary Blues sound that travels the highway between Chicago in 1955, Memphis in 1969, and present-day New York City.
Five of the afternoon races are dedicated and named for fallen New York firefighters. These are:
• Race 1. Honoring Firefighter Michael Davidson
• Race 2. Honoring Firefighter Christopher Ragusso
• Race 3. Honoring Firefighter Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis
• Race 4. Honoring Chief Ronald Spadafora; Firefighter Ray Phillips; Captain John Vigiano; Lieutenant Mario Bastidas, EMS Paramedic; and Firefighter Michael O’Hanlon E-68
• Race 5. The Waldbaums Fire – Honoring Lieutenant James Cutillo, 33rd Battalion; Firefighter Charles Bouton, Ladder Co. 156; Firefighter William O’Conner, Ladder Co. 156; Firefighter James P. McManus, Ladder Co. 153; Firefighter George Rice, Ladder Co. 153; and Firefighter Harold F. Hastings, Ladder Co.153
In addition, the New York Racing Association will raffle two (2) Belmont Stakes Day reserved seats valued at $200 each.