Reporting Mike Dougherty
By Mike Dougherty and Oren Liebermann
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Fallen Philadelphia police and firefighters were honored in South Philadelphia Saturday afternoon at the 58th Annual Hero Thrill Show.
Four new families will benefit from this year’s fundraiser. Police officers Brian Lorenzo and Moses Walker and firefighters Daniel Sweeney and Robert Neary were killed in the line of duty. The money raised provides college tuition for children of fallen heroes.
It’s an especially tough day for Linda Lorenzo and her family. For 10 years, she watched her husband Brian participate in the show as motorcycle drill team co-captain.
PHOTOS: 58th Annual Hero Thrill Show
“Very different this year because we’re used to being on the other side, helping.”
Police and firefighters had some of their latest equipment on display and put on a show for the crowds. But behind the enjoyment, there of course was a much more serious meaning behind the stunts.
“(The families) get to see the support the citizen’s have for their fallen loved ones and their families,” Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said.
Kimberly Pawlowski lost her husband John four years ago and says this helps with the healing process.
“It’s like a little sisterhood. I’m close with a few of the wives and it’s good when you get together and chitchat about each others lives. You have a common bond with somebody and I think that’s what makes things really cook,” says Pawlowski.
She is grateful for the emotional and financial support the event provides.
“My son is only three and a half but I know that those years are going to come by quick when he’s 18 getting ready to go to college. All these people are here for us and for our kids and to honor [our] husbands. I think that’s absolutely amazing,” Pawlowski says.
Well over $3 million have been raised since 2001. There are 12 students receiving Thrill Show funding.