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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

The Families of New York and New Jersey’s Fallen First Responders Will Gather Together on Thanksgiving Morning for the First Responders Children’s Foundation 20th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast Thursday, November 25th at 8:00am at Bryant Park Grill

November 11, 2021 GMT
First responders and first responder families at the 2019 First Responders Children's Foundation Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast.
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First responders and first responder families at the 2019 First Responders Children's Foundation Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast.
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First responders and first responder families at the 2019 First Responders Children's Foundation Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast.

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- First Responders Children’s Foundation, the national non-profit organization that provides financial relief to families of first responders who have been injured or killed in the line of duty, today announced that it will present its 20th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast on Thursday, November 25th (Thanksgiving morning) at the Bryant Park Grill, 25 West 40th Street in New York City. The Foundation’s 2020 breakfast was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, making this year’s celebration the first time in two years that these first responder families from New York and New Jersey can get together on Thanksgiving to remember their loved ones.

Over 1,500 first responder family members are expected to attend the breakfast and will enjoy an exclusive front-row view of the parade as it passes along Sixth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. The event has become an annual tradition for line-of-duty families across the spectrum of first responder agencies to support each other during the holiday season – which can often be a difficult time of year for them. FRCF’s very first Thanksgiving Day Breakfast was held twenty years ago in November 2001, following the aftermath of 9/11. It was created to heal the spirits of first responder families who suffered loss because of the tragedy. Since then, over 20,000 children and relatives of first responders have attended the breakfast. The event is free and features great food in a safe, fun setting. https://1strcf.org/thanksgiving/

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In addition to honoring the fallen first responders and their families, First Responders Children’s Foundation will also honor entertainment executive Scott Samuel “Scooter” Braun for the significant impact he has had on the lives of first responder families across the country. Braun’s SB Projects has provided over $5 million for the foundation, generously donating 100% of net profits from streams and sales of the hit Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande duet “Stuck With U.” This directly impacted first responders and their families across the United States. The funds raised have provided for 283 college scholarships averaging $3,000 each; 108 funerals for first responders who died in the line of duty, and over 1,965 individual hardship grants ranging from $200 to $2,000. They have also provided over $1.9 million in Covid-19 hardship grants and close to $200,000 for the Foundation’s various mental health programs.

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“My mother instilled the importance of giving back from when I was a young boy. She always said, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing, but at least make sure you find a way to help others.’ I’ve kept that in my mind since childhood and one of SB Projects’ core values is doing well by doing good. I’m sincerely honored to be recognized by the First Responders Children Foundation,” says Braun. “It’s important that we take action and care of our neighbors. At SB Projects we wanted to bolster Covid-19 relief efforts for first responders across the United States and wanted to focus on supporting children by giving them a brighter future through access to higher education. We thank them all for their dedication, sacrifice and service.”

First Responders Children’s Foundation’s scholarship recipients and their families from across the country will enjoy the festivities, including its CSX Pride in Service scholarship recipients. The CSX Pride in Service scholarships are designated to answer a specific need for first responder families due to tragic circumstances or financial hardship. 142 scholarships have been awarded to students attending colleges and universities across the nation. Many of the students are pursuing careers that will allow them to give back to the community including nursing, psychology, biology, cyber security, forensic science, and criminal justice. Bryan Tucker, Vice President of Communications for CSX, will extend congratulations to the students for their academic accomplishments and community service.

“We are proud of our partnership with First Responders Children’s Foundation and the CSX Pride in Service scholarships we make possible together,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of Corporate Communications at CSX. “It is an honor to provide financial support that helps these incredible children of first responders pursue their passions. This year, we are thrilled to be able to celebrate with them and their families through this special event.”

The Foundation will also welcome NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro; and Port Authority of NY & NJ Superintendent of Police Edward Cetnar. FDNY Chaplain Rabbi Joseph Potasnik will say the closing blessing.

“For the first time in two years, first responder families can gather together on Thanksgiving and collectively celebrate the memory of their loved ones who died in the line of duty,” said Jillian Crane, President of the First Responders Children’s Foundation. “It will be a morning filled with gratitude and one in which we can show our love and support to the families in person. Many of our Scholarship recipients will be attending. Some of them have lost a parent to Covid-19 and others to 9/11 or a 9/11 related illness. Some of them never even had the chance to spend a Thanksgiving with their fallen first responder parent. So, there are somber moments, but over the course of twenty years, this breakfast has evolved into a happy occasion and a celebration of resilience.”

In addition, 9/11 first responders Matt McCauley and Tom Wilson will be in attendance. Both gentlemen lobbied Congress to secure permanent funding of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which was signed into law in July 2019, just six weeks after their fellow first responder Luis Alvarez testified before Congress - and only one month after he passed away. Mr Alvarez’s widow, Laine Alvarez will also be in attendance.

The 20th Annual FRCF Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast is funded in part by the generous support of sponsors including Diamond Sponsors Bryant Park Corporation and CSX, Platinum Sponsors INVNT, Louis Vuitton, and Kay Family Foundation, Gold Sponsors Robert Cagnazzi, Carol Cheng, Michael N. Emmerman & Patricia A. Stockhausen, Marilyn & James Simons Charitable Fund, and The Rosinsky Family, Silver Sponsors Global Foundation for First Responders, Logicalis, Electronix Systems, GreenbergTraurig, MSA Security, and Dan, Lisa & Taylor Stevens, and Bronze Sponsors Century Direct, Thomas & Annmarie Flood, and Winter Village at Bryant Park.

About First Responders Children’s Foundation
For almost 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to the children of first responder parents who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports educational activities and programs created by first responder organizations to benefit children or the communities in which they live. The First Responders Children’s Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund was established in March 2020 to provide financial hardship grants, PPE, and hotel accommodations to first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation also pays for funerals of first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. More information about First Responders Children’s Foundation is available at www.1stRCF.org. Follow First Responders Children’s Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @1stRCF

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SOURCE First Responders Children’s Foundation