The Silver Shield Foundation held its fourth annual Greenwich Walk in honor of all first responders on Saturday, November 4 at Tod’s Point.
Walkers raised awareness and funds of the foundation’s mission which is to provide educational support for children and surviving spouses of Police Officers, Firefighters and EMS members killed in the line of duty.
Saturday morning was sunny and mild, and Long Island Sound provided a beautiful background for the ceremony, 2-1/2 mile walk and picnic.
The Silver Shield Foundation was started in 1982 by George Steinbrenner, principal owner of the New York Yankees, and his close friend James E. Fuchs.
Today, Fuchs’ daughter K.C. is the organization’s chief operating officer.
The foundation’s scholarship program invests in the education of the children and surviving spouses of the NYC Police Department, NYC Fire Department/EMS, NY/NJ Port Authority Police Departments, NY, NJ, and CT State Police, Nassau and Suffolk County police departments and all police departments in Connecticut.
The goal for the event was to raise $150,000 and with some large donations that came in during the event, including $25,000 from the New York Yankees, it seemed the goal might be achieved.
Chief Terry Monahan, retired NYPD Chief of Dept and Silver Shield Foundation Trustee, emceed the event.
He said James Fuchs started the foundation 41 years ago as a way to do something for the families of first responders who gave their lives in the line of duty.
This year alone the foundation is giving out 56 scholarships to children who lost a family member, and over 1,000 young people have benefited from scholarships since its inception. Several of the honored guests were line of duty families.
Chief Monahan said first responders have an ever-present awareness that tragedy could strike at any time.
“Nobody is aware when it will be their time. When it does happen it is devastating. The family’s life is changed forever. The surviving spouse, children, friends and loved ones have to deal with this unthinkable reality,” Monahan said. “It goes without saying, when tragedies occur, we all come together to ease the burden on the family. The well being of that firefighter or police officer’s family is all that matters at that time.”
“For us it is extremely comforting that in these dark days of uncertainty there are other people who feel our pain and want to help,” he added. “Every family wants the best for their children. When a spouse is dealt the devastating blow of losing their partner, they undoubtedly worry how their children will be taken care of.”
Monahan gave his heartfelt appreciation to the foundation for what they do for people during what is most likely the worst time of their lives.
New York Yankees Senior VP Brian Smith, who has been with the organization for 31 seasons, said he could not remember a time when he didn’t work with K.C. Fuchs or her father James. Mr. Smith presented Ms Fuchs a check for $25,000 from the New York Yankees, with the hopes to increase the $110,000 raised at the start of the event toward the goal of $150,000.