When tragedy hits, especially on the magnitude of 9/11, shock ensues. On that day in 2001, thousands lost their lives, and many more were injured, not to mention the families that lost their loved ones. Something like that doesn’t go away.
These families were left to pick up the millions of pieces that their lives became after that tragic day. Things for them will never be the same. Many charities and organizations help these families still to this day, and one of my favorites has to do with one of my favorite things – NASCAR.
So, how can that possibly be? It started with three men – Jim Rosenblum, Lt.Mike Bolnik (ret), and Bob Rahilly. The story is an incredible one and needs to be told. These men have organized countless others to give back to those families who lost so much that day.
There was so much support for firefighters following 9/11. People internationally wanted to help and at a caliber never seen before. That help came in many varieties.
According to their website www.fdnyracing.com, “It was this dedication to the American principles symbolized by the heroes of the fire department that created the Firefighter Racing Team, by Lt. Mike Bolnik, Ret., FDNY and Jim Rosenblum from Jim Rosenblum Racing and Bob Rahilly from RAHMOC Racing Engines.”
Continuing, “they established the official NASCAR racing team to honor the fallen heroes and their families and raise funds for the Widow’s and Children’s Fund . Our Racing Team is symbolic of the broad support already expressed by this great country. Its members hail from New York, Florida, North Carolina, Connecticut, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. During the week they are, firemen, salesmen, utility workers, building contractors, business professionals and avionics manufacturers. On the weekends, they joined our racing team in America’s number one sporting event of NASCAR Racing, to raise funds for Greatest America’s Heroes.”
The team is all volunteer. Yes, I said ALL volunteer, including the driver. Many of the crew members are FDNY and NYPD, too. These people all dedicate their time and efforts to help a cause they believe in very much, and they do a fantastic job.