By Tara Kerrigan Hayes
This past Sunday, January 27th, the Boston Bruins Foundation hosted the 3rd Annual BFit First Responder Challenge, presented by National Grid at the TD Garden. Also known as the Climb to Support the Families of Fallen First Responders, the event does precisely that, by donating the proceeds raised to The Hundred Club of Mass, Inc., (the 100 Club), a charity that supports the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The 100 Club was organized in 1959, recognizing early on that when a family faces the devastation of losing a loved one in the line of duty, they are also often met with the harsh reality of losing the primary breadwinner of the family. Initially the assistance was in the form of a generous check to alleviate some of the immediate financial burdens for grief-stricken families. Throughout the years, as a result of the generosity of its members, the 100 Club has been able to extend that assistance to families by providing benefits such as personal enrichment programs for minor children, college scholarships, funds for legal and accounting services, health and wellness benefits, as well as tickets for social events. The 100 Club also provides periodic gifts to the families to show their continued support and that the service of their loved ones and their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
Previously reliant upon the generosity of its members and dedication of its voluntary Board of Directors, the 100 Club was catapulted to a new level of giving when contacted by The Boston Bruins Foundation, who sought to expand their fundraising into the first responder community. This new initiative, BFit, managed to raise $350,000 on behalf of the 100 Club last year, and has already exceeded that amount last Sunday. The unique event invites firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and civilians to challenge themselves to climb the TD Garden, including three course levels to choose from with increasing levels of difficulty. With the Arena Bowl, Premium Levels, and Balcony, there’s a course for everyone from beginners to fitness enthusiasts. The day also includes fun activities for friends and families cheering on participants. Aside from a multitude of vendors and product giveaways, families have an opportunity to take photos with Bruins mascot, Blades, as well as the Stanley Cup banner.
For over 59 years, the 100 Club has provided uninterrupted support to these families of fallen heroes and the continued generosity and support of all those involved will allow the 100 Club to continue its mission to “care for those who care for us” for many years to come.
The 100 Club has already had positive a ripple effect that clearly resonates, even across generations. Participating on Sunday was Brendan Tully of W. Roxbury, whose grandfather, Firefighter Bernard G. Tully, died in the line of duty back in 1974 at the young age of 39, earning him the Medal of Valor. Now a firefighter himself, Brendan and his family have not forgotten the generosity and support shown to his grandmother by the 100 Club. “It’s a great organization that helped out my grandmother when she needed it all those years ago”, says Brendan, “and after all these years, they still show her support to this very day, so it felt good to volunteer”. Janice Anderson, who runs the operations of the 100 Club knows the Tully family and takes pride in being a part of such a wonderful organization and creating a personal bond with these strong families who have sacrificed so much. “It’s a testament to the dedication of the 100 Club”, she’s says, “it’s a lifelong commitment for us”.
Participants were asked to raise a minimum of $300 to be eligible to take part in the event, presenting a welcomed opportunity to honor and support our brave men and women would have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our beloved communities. Donations for the Bfit Challenge are still being accepted until February 20th. To learn more about the 100 Club or to make a general donation, click here.