Who: Firefighters and their families and Firehouse 11 supporters
Where: Seven Ultralounge + Skybar
When: Monday, August 16, 2010
Why: To raise funds for two firefighters badly burned in a house fire
There are heroes, and then there are super heroes . In our opinion, firefighters are most certainly the latter . . . which is why when the opportunity to attend a firefighters benefit to help support some of our own fallen heroes presented itself, we jumped at the chance to mix and mingle with some of the city’s finest.
The benefit, sponsored by the Minneapolis African American Professional Firefighters Association and members of Local 82 of the International Association of Firefighter, supported firefighter Jake LaFerriere and Captain Dennis Mack, two firefighters injured in the line of duty. On July 3, members of Firehouse 11 responded to a house fire in the Como neighborhood of Southeast Minneapolis. LaFerriere suffered burns to his hands and Mack had burns on his forearms. While both are now home from the HCMC burn unit, recovery is still very much in progress. LaFerriere still has to go to HCMC everyday to get his bandages changed and both firefighters do not know when they’ll return to work (although both maintain that they will return).
Both LaFerriere and Mack were on-hand to chat with guests and catch up with members of their firehouse. “It’s great to see everyone,” said Mack. And it did seem like everyone was there . . . from the Minneapolis Fire Chief to the Battalion Chief to a plethora of friends, family, and supporters.
A large firefighter’s boot collected donations in which some of the money raised would help sponsor a child at a burn camp. Silent auction items bursting with sports memorabilia were popular as were the raffle items, which included tickets to the Vikings/Packers game.
As guests mingled on the rooftop patio, we were awed by the great sense of community among these firefighters. We saw lots of laughs, even more conversation, and felt a sense of support in the room. We left with an even more profound appreciation for our firefighting friends, or rather, our favorite heroes.