PATERSON, NJ - The Christmas spirit was on full display at the Brownstone Saturday as more than 200 Paterson firefighters and their families enjoyed each other's company at the Paterson Firefighter Association's annual family Christmas breakfast.
While children each enjoyed a chance to meet Santa, and receive an early present straight from the North Pole, the event also was an opportunity, organizers, including Battalion Chief Mike Trommelen, Captain Mike Hook, and Firefighter Marc Roca said, to give back even more to the community they protect. A large pile of new toys donated by those in attendance grew throughout the morning as firefighting families volunteered to go gift shopping to make sure at least 40 local families in need wake up on Christmas morning with presents under the tree.
This year's gathering took on extra special meaning as members of the Murray family, including his brother, Captain Patrick Murray of the Paterson Police Department, celebrated the memory of retired Deputy Chief Joe Murray who passed away earlier this year. Murray, Trommelen reminded the crowd, founded the breakfast more than 25 years, ago, and always served both the fire department and the community with the belief that they were all family.
Deputy Chief Murray's children were presented a shadow box in honor of their late father and learned that going forward the breakfast would be named in his honor.
"Whether it's our loved ones at home or our brothers and sisters we serve with, firefighting is all about family," Kyle Hughes, president of FMBA Local 2 said. "It's important for us to gather together like this, celebrate the holidays, and just enjoy the togetherness of the season."
Editor's Note: The publisher of TAPinto Paterson also serves as a public relations consultant to FMBA Local 2.
Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Steve Lenox and tell him about it.