By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia Police Officer Lauretha Vaird was the departments first woman to be killed in the line of duty. She was gunned down 20 years ago after being first on the scene of a robbery.

Now, those who know her want to make sure she’s never forgotten.

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“It’s almost like being a police officer and giving was a part of her DNA,” says Rochelle Bilal, president of Guardian Civic League, who graduated from the police academy with Vaird.

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On January 2nd two decades ago, 43-year-old Vaird was gunned down, leaving her two sons without a mother. The city mourned…as did Bilal, but they’ve also worked hard to remember, re-naming the Feltonville Boys and Girls Club — less than a mile from where she died — after the fallen hero.

“We don’t want anyone to forget Police Office Lauretha Vaird,” Bilal says. “We want people to know who she was and what she stood for and the fact that she gave her life doing this job — as a police officer in this city.”

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So Saturday, the Guardian Civic League and FOP Lodge 5 is holding its annual basketball fundraiser to benefit the Vaird Club and celebrate Vaird’s legacy with her family.