AP NEWS

Fundraiser to help feed Santa Fe firefighters working on Christmas

December 11, 2018 GMT

Firetrucks are not an unusual sight at Kingston Residence of Santa Fe, an assisted living community off Rodeo Road.

When a resident has a medical emergency, paramedics from the Santa Fe Fire Department are typically the first on scene, said Becky Roehning, Kingston’s outreach director.

“I watch these guys come in, and they treat our residents with such gentleness and compassion. I thought, we really need a way to say thank you,” Roehning said. “They never know what is going to happen, what their day is going to be like. I think they’re heroes, and we really need to express that to them.”

The answer that Roehning came up with: a fundraiser to provide Christmas dinner for the firefighters.

On Friday, Kingston is hosting Fiesta de Noche Buena, a celebration that includes a Mexican Christmas Eve dinner with a full bar, games and entertainment. Proceeds from ticket sales and table games will go to buy Christmas dinner for firefighters on shift Dec. 25.

Dinner will include dishes like turkey with mole and beef tenderloin with adobo sauce, Roehning said. The fundraiser also will include games and drawings for prizes, such as hotel stays and gift items donated by local businesses.

Santa Fe fire Chief Paul Babcock said firefighters pay for and prepare their own meals while on multiday shifts. Typically, he said, each firefighter pitches in about $20 or so for two days of meals, and the crew makes the food at their station.

For Christmas, Babcock said, the department likes to find a way to get those expenses covered for the men and women sacrificing holiday time with family to help their community.

This year, Kingston offered to help.

“We really appreciate any type of support the community provides for us,” Babcock said. “They know we are there for them, and we appreciate it when they are there for us.”

Battalion Chief Freddie Martinez estimated the proceeds will help feed the 37 or so firefighters operating the city’s six fire stations on Christmas.

“A lot of the grocery stores close, and we pitch in and do the meals for ourselves. So, for us to have a business to reach out to us and say, ‘we want to help you guys out’ … we’re just super grateful,” he said. “It actually is a really big help.”

If you go

What: Fiesta de Noche Buena, a holiday celebration to raise funds for meals for Santa Fe firefighters working on Christmas Day

Where: Kingston Residence of Santa Fe, 2400 Legacy Court

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14

Cost: Tickets are $20 per person or $30 per couple. Pay-to-play table games are an additional charge. Tickets by cash or check can be purchased at Kingston or by calling 505-471-2400.

More Info: Call Kingston at 505-471-2400 or email broehning@kingstonhealthcare.com.