In 2004 Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue sponsored our first fundraiser.
It was for Shawn Thurman, who contracted a rare form of heart cancer. A benefit dinner/auction was held and approximately $50,000 was raised to assist Shawn Thurman with medical bills. Shawn was able to recover and return to work for a short time, but ultimately lost his battle to the cancer in late 2005.
A year later, Jeremy O’Brien was diagnosed with Guillain Barre’ Syndrome.
Jeremy’s insurance and disability were insufficient to cover the expenses he had incurred. He has four children (one of which was born when Jeremy was in the hospital) that depend on his income. Jeremy’s brother, Jason O’Brien, a Battalion Chief for Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue, started a benefit for him with the help of his co-workers. We raised approximately $75,000 to help Jeremy and his family.
Then in 2006, the daughter of one of our firefighters had a relapse of Leukemia.
She required a bone marrow transplant at Duke University in North Carolina. We were able to help their family by covering travel expenses. Unfortunately, the need to raise funds for other public servants, not only with PBGFR, who are in need, continues to this day.
It was clear we needed an organization all-year-round to raise money for not only the families of PBGFR, but for all area families of public servants.
It was no longer appropriate to be engaged in several individual fundraisers without the benefit of non-profit status. At this point Firefighter’s to the Rescue was incorporated and non-profit status was gained in 2006. We established a board with the goal of hosting fundraising events to establish funds that will be on hand when they are needed, and to assist our extended family of public servants so that they may quickly return to work and continue serving the community. Firefighter’s to the Rescue, Inc. continues to serve public servants throughout the area, as well as the country, in their time of need with gracious donations from members of the community.
Our board consists of a President (Mark Joyce), a Vice President (Jason O’Brien), and two board members (Mike Zingaro and Jules Tuman). These people work tirelessly to help those in need. If you have any questions about Firefighter’s to the Rescue, Inc., or are considering donating please don’t hesitate to contact any of our board members. Thank you for taking the time to research the organization.