Philanthropy in Phocus

Friday, August 20, 2021
Facebook Live Video from 2021/08/20 - Bravehearted At Ground Zero

Facebook Live Video from 2021/08/20 - Bravehearted At Ground Zero


2021/08/20 - Bravehearted At Ground Zero

[NEW EPISODE] Bravehearted At Ground Zero

The Ray Pfeifer Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to assisting September 11th first responders, firefighters and police, with medical needs not covered by insurance. The foundation was established in memory of Ray Pfeifer, a NYC firefighter who died on May 28, 2017 from 9/11 cancer. Ray never stopped putting the needs of others before his own. He was a leading force in lobbying to extend the Zadroga Act through 2090, ensuring health care coverage for 75,000 people who need, or will need, treatment for health conditions developed as a direct result of 9/11 exposure.


“Do the right thing, even when no one is looking,” words you’d often hear from Ray Pfeifer. A member of the FDNY since 1987, Ray was going with other FDNY firefighters the morning of September 11, 2001.When he learned of the attacks, Ray went to his rehouse at Engine 40/Ladder 35, grabbed his gear, and spent the next eight months searching and digging at Ground Zero.

Rob Serra sits on the board of directors of The Ray Pfeifer Foundation.

Tune in for this sensible conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Tommy introduces his guest Rob Serra a member of the board of directors of the Ray Pfeifer Foundation. Rob shares his story on how he got involved with the Ray Pfeifer Foundation. Rob also shares his passions and how they’ve played into his life. Tommy and Rob focus on the topic growing up with hockey and that large part of Robs life. Tommy makes the connection that his team work mindset may have influenced how he works together with other firefighters.

Segment 2

Tommy mentions how he makes connections with the nonprofit organizations that he meets so they have better opportunities to reach more. Tommy asks the hard question of if we truly do forget how much September the 11th effects people. Rob talks about the aftermath and health issues that many of the firefighters had contracted. He continues to explain how not only was it firefighters getting sick but anyone who was near the site.

Segment 3

Rob talks about Ray and how the foundation started. Tommy shares the knowledge he has on the Ray Pfeifer Foundation and Rob further explains to create a immaculate idea of who Ray Pfeifer was. Rob tells how Ray was more than a mentor.

Segment 4

Tommy asks Rob to share how he and the audience can pitch in. Rob tells the many different volunteer positions and how anyone could help out. Rob talks about different events that are happening and which Ray truly enjoyed.


00:05:22.800 --> 00:05:31.290 Tommy D: Gentlemen boys and girls children of all ages, the long island railroad just pass by, I thought I was going to have to introduce the long island railroad before I got to introduce myself and rob.

00:05:31.770 --> 00:05:37.260 Tommy D: Well, now I just talked about it anyway what's the difference it's your boy from the top of my house just blow the roof.

00:05:37.710 --> 00:05:43.230 Tommy D: Above the second floor that's right i'm in my attic every single Friday morning Tommy D, the nonprofit sector connector.

00:05:43.950 --> 00:05:47.130 Tommy D: brings to you another leader of a nonprofit organization.

00:05:47.550 --> 00:05:54.510 Tommy D: 33 episodes into this thing man, you know this was something I talked about I said I want to have a show where I just bring on executive leaders of nonprofits.

00:05:54.780 --> 00:06:02.160 Tommy D: To help them tell their story and amplify their message The challenge was I went around for two and a half years and told people I was going to do it and didn't do it so here's what I have for you guys.

00:06:02.460 --> 00:06:14.640 Tommy D: Get out of your own way, get out of your comfort zone, if you want to do something go and do it a little bit from the attic with Tommy do here's the deal nonprofits change our world every second of every minute of every hour of every day but Papa Papa.

00:06:15.690 --> 00:06:26.640 Tommy D: Making an impact that's what it's about here's The challenge for me, though, man I don't think these nonprofits get there, do I do I think they're overlooked, you know, often underfunded and unrecognized.

00:06:27.420 --> 00:06:40.740 Tommy D: I only have so many Fridays, and the month and, in the year so maybe we have to do is show more often will talk to Sam leibowitz here talk radio dot nyc maybe I do the show daily that's a that's a hint to the universe, why because I was talking to last week, I had.

00:06:42.720 --> 00:06:53.460 Tommy D: I had my friend least silberman on the show from habitat for humanity is Suffolk county and he told me that Suffolk county gang has 9700 nonprofit organizations lot of organizations, making an impact.

00:06:53.820 --> 00:07:01.050 Tommy D: I don't have 9700 Fridays, I do the show, so we got to figure out some different things overlooked underfunded unrecognized my answer to that.

00:07:01.500 --> 00:07:03.900 Tommy D: Is a little show called philanthropy and focus.

00:07:04.320 --> 00:07:13.830 Tommy D: I grew up in the 80s and 90s, we used to say fat pha T so focus on this show is spelled P H O C U s so if you're trying to track me down Tommy do philanthropy in focus pH o

00:07:14.070 --> 00:07:22.950 Tommy D: c U s COM on Facebook you found me on the check this out man i'm on instagram or my tick tock do dance on the tick tock for Tommy D dot nyc.

00:07:23.220 --> 00:07:30.570 Tommy D: Look, the show is not about me but i'm utilizing this little presence that I have here to amplify the message organization I gotta tell you.

00:07:30.810 --> 00:07:37.740 Tommy D: Every single week i'm jazzed about this show, I look forward to it as soon as the show ends, for the following week, one of my favorite things to do.

00:07:39.360 --> 00:07:43.560 Tommy D: I don't hem and haw so much about this program as I did this week.

00:07:44.190 --> 00:07:53.250 Tommy D: um I i'm i'm privileged and honored to connect with rob service morning it's not gonna be a lot of Tommy D talking, I really want to hear rob I want to hear your story.

00:07:53.460 --> 00:08:02.190 Tommy D: we're going to talk to rob will get to learn about the great fight for foundation okay we're coming up on 20 years here guys I it it's incredible that it was 20 years ago.

00:08:03.330 --> 00:08:24.780 Tommy D: Robin I or contemporaries I was looking to rob's background graduated high school 97 I graduated 96 so right around the same age um I I have friends, I have family members or New York City fireman I have friends and family members who were COPs and um I.

00:08:25.800 --> 00:08:33.360 Tommy D: Were we're all we're all touched by that day we're not going to spend a lot of time talking about the day of September 11 2001.

00:08:33.870 --> 00:08:35.130 Tommy D: we're really going to talk about.

00:08:35.490 --> 00:08:45.630 Tommy D: What is needed by the people that this organization serves so i'm going to read a little background first rob before I even read your background I talked a lot performance enough to show I haven't shut up, I promise it's going to be more about you.

00:08:46.140 --> 00:08:51.990 Tommy D: Good morning, I appreciate you this, I I don't say this lightly, I take this as an honor and a privilege to connect with you.

00:08:52.440 --> 00:09:00.180 Tommy D: Hopefully, one day we'll meet in person i'd love to give you a hug longer allowed to hug people again but rob Sarah Good morning, welcome to the show, through your bio in a second how you doing today man.

00:09:01.590 --> 00:09:02.940 Rob Serra: i'm doing well, thanks for having me.

00:09:03.330 --> 00:09:14.610 Tommy D: you're great man absolutely i'm glad to have you so on the revival stuff a bit, but I don't really love reading a page of notes and stuff because I really want to hear the rob certain story told like rob Sarah can tell, because.

00:09:14.910 --> 00:09:24.300 Tommy D: Somebody was reading tommy's bio I can, I can tell the story, the way I would tell him right so so here's I am going to take a couple pieces here, though retired fdny firefighter.

00:09:24.810 --> 00:09:31.860 Tommy D: served on the fdny special operations command Task Force and the female us ar en y tf one.

00:09:32.310 --> 00:09:39.750 Tommy D: founding board member of the raid five Foundation, which I think would be the meat of our conversation today fdny hockey I got a lot of things to talk about with document because.

00:09:40.080 --> 00:09:47.220 Tommy D: I won't get there in a second but northward school up in Lake placid i've been to lake placid i've been in a winter beautiful place I graduate from.

00:09:47.670 --> 00:09:54.360 Tommy D: college and one we're going to talk some paki rob was raised in an on Staten island my sister and her husband are in Staten island.

00:09:55.320 --> 00:10:06.990 Tommy D: So I get out there and see them soon anyway, he began firefighting July of 2000 morning's can share some of that six weeks out of college just came out of college and and went on the job.

00:10:08.550 --> 00:10:13.380 Tommy D: And first day really on the job was was September 11 but he'll tell us about that.

00:10:13.890 --> 00:10:18.990 Tommy D: generations in the family have served the city and a lot of different ways, but he's a fourth Member, along with his older brother.

00:10:19.470 --> 00:10:26.580 Tommy D: Andrew serving for the fdny right now rob i'm going to take i'm going to stop there really because I want you to tell the story, but here's what i'm going to.

00:10:27.180 --> 00:10:31.230 Tommy D: Say what's better for a kid from Staten island a hockey kid.

00:10:31.740 --> 00:10:40.410 Tommy D: To go up to where the miracle happen and to go to high school in Lake placid I mean as i'm saying this i'm getting chills because i'm thinking about this this morning again and, like.

00:10:40.890 --> 00:10:49.440 Tommy D: I don't curse on my show so i'll say holy cow like that's tell me tell me that story told me the rob service story tell me hockey let's let's just start talking.

00:10:50.520 --> 00:11:04.470 Rob Serra: All right, yeah well, you can always talk about hockey um I started playing with it, when I was a kid because of that, because of the miracle uh I don't know if you remember the movie not the movie miracle the movie miracle on ice made for TV.

00:11:05.160 --> 00:11:10.080 Rob Serra: yeah I watched it on vhs on loop, you know, probably from four to.

00:11:10.320 --> 00:11:15.210 Tommy D: Now you have kids I have kids vhs they have no clue what we're talking about what's a vcr man right.

00:11:15.300 --> 00:11:17.580 Rob Serra: Exactly, we had to keep rewinding it.

00:11:17.610 --> 00:11:19.560 Rob Serra: You know the commercials.

00:11:19.740 --> 00:11:22.170 Rob Serra: yeah yeah there was no script but you.

00:11:22.710 --> 00:11:24.690 Tommy D: Know dvr know that you can't.

00:11:25.350 --> 00:11:25.650 Tommy D: You don't.

00:11:25.740 --> 00:11:27.870 Tommy D: know if an important yep it's different man.

00:11:29.310 --> 00:11:31.830 Tommy D: So you watch you probably till it didn't work anymore right.

00:11:32.130 --> 00:11:44.160 Rob Serra: I did yeah you know Mike early on, he was he was my hero as a kid you know five foot nine Italian kid with a funny accent, you know, a score, the biggest goal in our country's history, so you know.

00:11:45.570 --> 00:11:51.000 Rob Serra: I got to meet him when I was about 10 years old, he couldn't believe I knew who he was in Lake placid ironically.

00:11:51.420 --> 00:11:53.190 Tommy D: i'm going up there, then at 10 years old.

00:11:53.760 --> 00:12:08.280 Rob Serra: I was playing a tournament and one of the Ken Anton rich up there, which is how I ended up going to school there when I was 14 I was up there for a tournament and I had been looking at prep schools, you know if you play hockey with you know prep school is probably.

00:12:08.790 --> 00:12:09.450 Tommy D: As the way to go.

00:12:10.020 --> 00:12:15.150 Rob Serra: is the way to go, unless you want to move to Canada play juniors but a lake placid was far enough.

00:12:16.410 --> 00:12:31.110 Rob Serra: yeah so I was up there, I went and interviewed at the school and I got accepted in the interview, and you know my parents were cool they they gave me enough financial aid to be able to do it and, yes, I spent three years in Lake placid and it was awesome.

00:12:32.520 --> 00:12:35.460 Rob Serra: You know I highly recommend going there if you haven't been there.

00:12:35.730 --> 00:12:48.540 Tommy D: yeah i've been there in the winter, you know I used to work with a company big payroll operation adp and needs to send this out there on these incentive trips in the winter we stayed at this place um I probably could never stayed on my own because company was paying for.

00:12:49.680 --> 00:12:56.760 Tommy D: Things called the mirror lake in, and it was unreal right kind of swank and spot, and you know the lake was frozen when you'd be up there.

00:12:57.000 --> 00:13:09.720 Tommy D: In the winter and special special part of world yeah actually got a friend of mine in the neighborhood here, who is from up that part of New York, but such such beautiful parts of the state and we don't even realize, even from long island Staten island you don't see it all, you know.

00:13:10.170 --> 00:13:17.850 Tommy D: yeah yeah so tell me, you know, did you see yourself in the nhl one day was that is that, where you saw himself don't.

00:13:18.420 --> 00:13:35.040 Rob Serra: know I you know I I mean I knew I wasn't on that level they were there were kids that I played with their that broaden that level my goal is always just to play in college and maybe playing your you know for for a few years, and you know get some life experience that was my goal.

00:13:36.090 --> 00:13:39.840 Rob Serra: You know I didn't think i'd make it to the nhl but I don't really care, I just want to keep.

00:13:39.840 --> 00:13:40.350 Rob Serra: Playing like.

00:13:40.410 --> 00:13:51.960 Rob Serra: Well right you heard all the stories of kids go and play in France or England or Germany, and you know they put you up place to live you give you a car like that would have been cool you know yeah that that's what I was looking to do.

00:13:53.730 --> 00:13:54.840 Rob Serra: didn't work out but.

00:13:55.830 --> 00:14:06.120 Tommy D: yeah yeah hey twists and turns man right yeah so so I want to talk to you, as I say, I have some family members and concerns and close friends of mine who or firemen and.

00:14:08.760 --> 00:14:15.300 Tommy D: I always remember you know guys and I think this is probably similar to the hockey I watch some of the other interviews you've done and.

00:14:15.570 --> 00:14:23.070 Tommy D: You know you talk about relationships with with the FDA and then also on the hockey team, and that even that was another level right now you're on the fire.

00:14:23.310 --> 00:14:26.460 Tommy D: department hockey team, it was even more camaraderie but I remember guys would say.

00:14:26.790 --> 00:14:34.260 Tommy D: yeah i'm going to a guy my house, you know he just bought a home out on long island so world one out there paint we're all going out there to do you know sheet rock and that.

00:14:34.740 --> 00:14:42.180 Tommy D: You know i've worked in a lot of companies and a lot of sales teams, but nobody ever came over and did that, for me, like guys that I worked with the Tongue out with these guys.

00:14:42.450 --> 00:14:49.650 Tommy D: In my drinking days drag with these guys party with these guys whatever, but it wasn't like you know 1112 guys didn't show up to hang sheet rock.

00:14:50.070 --> 00:14:58.350 Tommy D: So it's not just an example, I mean I know you know when you guys have meal when you're in the House and have a meal and you go out on a truck and shopping to be cooked I was always.

00:14:58.530 --> 00:15:04.320 Tommy D: I guess I don't get envious but I always thought that was really fun that seemed like just that that camaraderie so.

00:15:04.710 --> 00:15:15.570 Tommy D: Can you talk a little bit about that, because I think it's so critical to the story of the fire department and i'm sure the story of the raid five foundation, so can you talk about that the law of that connection with the guys.

00:15:16.560 --> 00:15:28.740 Rob Serra: yeah sure I mean that I grew up with that my grandfather was a fireman and he built his own house basically like you just said with the with the guys from his company, you know they literally built this House from the ground up.

00:15:31.260 --> 00:15:34.620 Rob Serra: You know that's awesome you know you're right you don't really see that much anymore.

00:15:36.120 --> 00:15:39.690 Rob Serra: You know, sometimes paying for the pizza and beer might get a little more expensive.

00:15:39.780 --> 00:15:41.070 Rob Serra: than actually paying them but.

00:15:43.140 --> 00:15:44.580 Rob Serra: I know, Joe having them there right.

00:15:45.660 --> 00:15:58.290 Rob Serra: yeah yeah yeah but, but you know that that, for me, you know I didn't grow up wanting to be a fireman I wanted to be a hockey player, you know I wanted to go to law school which, which was my initial goal um.

00:15:59.790 --> 00:16:04.950 Rob Serra: So I decided to give it a chance you know I took the test, when I was in college and did well.

00:16:06.240 --> 00:16:13.200 Rob Serra: I was an English major so I had I was only unemployed for six weeks for an English major that's pretty good.

00:16:15.120 --> 00:16:15.540 Tommy D: Okay.

00:16:15.870 --> 00:16:25.530 Rob Serra: So you know I decided to give the fire department, a chance and I figured I you know you know everyone tells the story they grew up playing with fire trucks they wanted to you know, like my brother was like that.

00:16:26.010 --> 00:16:26.250 Tommy D: yeah.

00:16:26.370 --> 00:16:32.520 Rob Serra: You got them before me, but I really i'd you know, I was a bit of a wandering soul, you know I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.

00:16:32.970 --> 00:16:41.310 Rob Serra: More so I decided to give it a chance and and you know as soon as I got in the Academy, I found what you're saying you know the camaraderie and you know.

00:16:42.390 --> 00:16:57.900 Rob Serra: I was 21 with a shaved head and I still think I was 15 so you could imagine what they put me through, but you know it was all good fun and then you know my first day I got out and and it was 911 so after that, for me, there was no turning back and then.

00:16:59.250 --> 00:17:03.330 Rob Serra: I mean you really sort, so the brotherhood after after 911 I mean I.

00:17:04.140 --> 00:17:15.030 Rob Serra: I don't know really know what it was like before, but you know, like you're saying everyone there for each other, you know my brother was a liaison for a member of his company who passed away and just all the stuff that he did just for their.

00:17:16.320 --> 00:17:29.910 Rob Serra: For for his name is Christian regen heart for his mother and for the family and all the planning and it's just you know to see someone doing that because they want to you know, because they have to not because they're getting paid.

00:17:30.210 --> 00:17:31.590 Rob Serra: right on you know that's.

00:17:31.770 --> 00:17:48.060 Rob Serra: that's a great example to set you know unfortunate I had that I had an older brother to guide me at that age, but but yeah I mean my goal is to be a fireman for five years and see how it worked out the first few months I knew that I wasn't going anywhere you.

00:17:48.060 --> 00:17:48.900 Tommy D: Are in yeah.

00:17:49.380 --> 00:17:55.830 Tommy D: yeah I mean I you know, I have a couple friends were were COPs and went over to the FDA because of the war of.

00:17:56.160 --> 00:18:03.750 Tommy D: Being on that job So yes, so very special we're getting we're going to take a quick break this is how quickly show goes Robin I will be back rob when we come back.

00:18:04.020 --> 00:18:13.530 Tommy D: You know what let's let's touch upon are really some of the advocacy stuff that that started to happen kind of I want to know the challenges that that men and women.

00:18:13.950 --> 00:18:22.080 Tommy D: first responders have been dealing with i'm just so so because I know, thank you, by the way, lori Berlin for putting this together.

00:18:22.950 --> 00:18:31.680 Tommy D: lori did a hashtag this morning on a couple of posts, I put on social media and she said, never forget, and I remember, we used to say that all the time and I don't want to set it up.

00:18:33.000 --> 00:18:46.170 Tommy D: But i'll just say it do we still do we still treat them that way because i'm worried that we have forgotten, so I want you to tell me what what, what do you what is going on, what was the catalyst.

00:18:47.220 --> 00:19:00.120 Tommy D: Of the re five or weaken your foundation, we could dive into you know the history of the advocacy and stuff like that, but gang where we're here it's it's about two weeks, three weeks out from from the the 20th anniversary of that Tuesday.

00:19:00.840 --> 00:19:12.930 Tommy D: September 11 2000 and 2001 and rob Sir a founding board member of refight for foundation is here with me in the attic rob about you and i'll be back in just a minute and a half to you guys.

00:21:28.530 --> 00:21:28.830 In the.

00:21:31.260 --> 00:21:39.360 Tommy D: whole thing about being the attics you ever make it out here to long island, you can I don't invite a lot of people literally into my attic, but you can come up to the attic if you'd like to.

00:21:40.650 --> 00:21:42.630 Rob Serra: i'm kind of in an attic myself here in this.

00:21:42.780 --> 00:21:43.140 Tommy D: Are you.

00:21:43.260 --> 00:21:44.400 Rob Serra: Haitian house yeah.

00:21:44.880 --> 00:21:52.920 Tommy D: I saw that might have to be a requirement, I might have to meet everybody being an added to the show wi fi is not bad enough let's make everybody being sort of an addict to try and.

00:21:52.920 --> 00:21:53.280 Tommy D: figure out.

00:21:55.080 --> 00:22:03.840 Tommy D: You know that's my friend brandon leave you from the queen's Chamber of Commerce, who wrote that little ditty for me they got a fan they they used to be called the goods back in the day when the 90s when they were young guys.

00:22:04.140 --> 00:22:08.400 Tommy D: So they were the goods now they call themselves damaged goods because they're older so.

00:22:09.330 --> 00:22:19.500 Tommy D: So Brendan hook that up for me i'm In fact we should talk about maybe making a connection to the queen's chamber for the raid five for foundation what i've been doing each month is I buy a.

00:22:19.980 --> 00:22:30.000 Tommy D: An annual membership for a nonprofit organization, if you guys be interested i'd love to do that in October and make you guys remember the queen's chamber, you know membership is one thing it's about it's about the connections and access and.

00:22:31.380 --> 00:22:36.630 Tommy D: Brendan to get from friend of my buddy Tom gresham's a CEO there at the Chamber is pretty connected in.

00:22:38.100 --> 00:22:50.550 Tommy D: A great advocate, on behalf of the PDF so we've made that connection, but yeah the attic the whole thing I have a lot of fun with that let's let's get back into the conversation rob I mean we talk hockey we talked about growing up.

00:22:51.390 --> 00:22:57.810 Tommy D: And the camaraderie of the job and I just brought this up, maybe this is maybe this is a touchy one but never forget.

00:22:59.250 --> 00:23:06.330 Tommy D: I i've been thinking about this conversation and last few days and and the never forget thing popped up for me again this morning, like I said and i'm one.

00:23:07.920 --> 00:23:19.290 Tommy D: Have we forgotten when you when you think about what what you've been through, and we can share please share as much as your story is it feel comfortable sharing your own you know health issues and and your journey on the job but.

00:23:21.090 --> 00:23:29.910 Tommy D: Has has Congress until you guys were down there and doing all the work Jon Stewart and john feel and all those guys and talk to me a little bit about that about this never forget.

00:23:34.530 --> 00:23:36.510 Rob Serra: I i'd say yeah we forgot.

00:23:38.130 --> 00:23:40.380 Rob Serra: For the most part, I mean as a.

00:23:42.120 --> 00:23:51.360 Rob Serra: mean in the New York area, you know we still feel it we still feel the support but nationally in Congress certainly they forgot a long time ago i'm a.

00:23:53.370 --> 00:23:59.070 Rob Serra: little bit of my medical history is I got sick on 911 is that's where my health problems started.

00:24:00.210 --> 00:24:10.260 Rob Serra: I got a bloody nose was their blood till I passed out and blood every day for a couple of years and that was the start of my issues, so I knew something was wrong right away.

00:24:12.060 --> 00:24:19.470 Rob Serra: As did a lot of other people as to the fdny who prescribed every member and inhaler without even seeing a doctor, so they knew something was.

00:24:19.470 --> 00:24:19.860 Tommy D: Just knew.

00:24:21.120 --> 00:24:22.710 Rob Serra: You know everyone knows the.

00:24:23.820 --> 00:24:29.220 Rob Serra: Air Safety brief history with with christy Whitman and rudy Giuliani and you know.

00:24:29.550 --> 00:24:35.490 Rob Serra: Right anybody else who was in charge of our safety told us the I was safe degrees, even though.

00:24:36.030 --> 00:24:39.660 Tommy D: Even again not to get it get angry about, but how could we how could it be.

00:24:40.710 --> 00:24:45.210 Rob Serra: Common sense would tell you, you know 4400 tons of asbestos.

00:24:45.960 --> 00:24:54.810 Rob Serra: alone in those buildings is enough to kill someone that you're adding 150 other toxins, you know so.

00:24:55.830 --> 00:25:02.370 Rob Serra: And it's been a long road, you know, we had Members who started getting sick right away like seriously ill cancers and.

00:25:03.120 --> 00:25:07.290 Rob Serra: And heart attacks and stuff like that and people were dying and people were were.

00:25:07.860 --> 00:25:16.410 Rob Serra: going through cancer treatments and having to put the House up for sale to pay for it, because nobody was recognizing it as line of duty and even if you have health insurance which.

00:25:16.920 --> 00:25:23.610 Rob Serra: which, fortunately, in the fdny we have good health insurance, but there were other the people who were down there who may have been volunteers.

00:25:24.060 --> 00:25:35.550 Rob Serra: People came from all 50 states, you know as we used to say in Washington, we had we had we have a person from 434 at a 435 Congressional districts in the road transit transit that Program.

00:25:35.670 --> 00:25:42.720 Tommy D: That came that came like when when everybody was coming in from out of state they'd be coming in with trucks and whatnot you talking about those kind of folks right.

00:25:42.750 --> 00:25:55.230 Rob Serra: Right, whether it's weather was officially sent by the government, you know fema teams or fire departments, or whatever, or just volunteers, nurses, doctors aren't workers can show anybody who helped people came here from look.

00:25:55.590 --> 00:26:05.400 Rob Serra: just about every Congressional district is represented in our program so people are getting sick, you know and then and and a group of people started going down to Washington, you know, and then in the.

00:26:06.300 --> 00:26:13.590 Rob Serra: Late 2000s trying to get something done, you know and Congress did what Congress does and they gave us a.

00:26:14.970 --> 00:26:17.490 Rob Serra: You know, five year temporary bill.

00:26:18.840 --> 00:26:34.320 Rob Serra: Which which was around oh nine 2010 and that bill was basically to see if the program was necessary, how it would function financially if there was gonna be any fraud, which is you know of course that's the government's biggest concern, not the people dying.

00:26:35.880 --> 00:26:37.290 Rob Serra: I can get into that later on.

00:26:37.290 --> 00:26:39.870 Rob Serra: Which is frank discussions that has with some Members.

00:26:41.820 --> 00:26:51.180 Rob Serra: So, essentially, we had five years to prove that that people were getting sick people were dying and a lot of stuff still wasn't included in that build or a lot of cancers still not included a lot of my own.

00:26:51.480 --> 00:27:08.550 Rob Serra: personal friends had cancers that weren't on that bill, and they had to seriously think about the future, you know, is my son going to go to college if I gonna have to sell my house just to pay, you know 10,000 $30,000 a month for medications and cancer treatments, you know so.

00:27:10.380 --> 00:27:18.720 Rob Serra: When that bill it actually ended up expiring in 2015 but, when it was set to expire that's when when I got involved.

00:27:19.320 --> 00:27:30.660 Rob Serra: I retired from the sky in 2012 with 911 illnesses on so as soon after that I started getting involved myself just on social media under what you were saying before about just.

00:27:32.460 --> 00:27:35.310 Rob Serra: see something needs to get done and just not being complacent and.

00:27:35.310 --> 00:27:36.480 Tommy D: You just you just got involved.

00:27:37.080 --> 00:27:39.840 Rob Serra: involved on my own I didn't know anybody I just started.

00:27:40.020 --> 00:27:52.830 Rob Serra: Going on social media and writing my rants and people started taking to it, you know um and I ended up meeting Ray Pfeiffer at a press conference, and you know.

00:27:53.100 --> 00:27:53.910 Tommy D: Coming out right.

00:27:53.940 --> 00:27:56.700 Tommy D: Tell me about Ray I wrote that in my notes, I want to tell me the story.

00:27:56.820 --> 00:27:57.240 yeah.

00:27:58.530 --> 00:28:03.150 Rob Serra: he's really the one who brought me in and got me, you know seriously involved.

00:28:04.920 --> 00:28:11.040 Rob Serra: If you read the story wouldn't surprise you, the first day I met him I walked up to him, he was sitting in his wheelchair, and he stood up.

00:28:11.580 --> 00:28:18.900 Rob Serra: And he shook my hand and he said hey rob you know nice to me i'm right, you know you're doing great work and I took a step back, I didn't even know.

00:28:19.500 --> 00:28:27.810 Rob Serra: You knew who I was you know and we we connected right right then in there and that's when I got involved and started going to Washington with them.

00:28:29.850 --> 00:28:38.790 Rob Serra: But Ray was just you know he had stage four cancer for eight or nine years lungs brain, it was all over his body, he had.

00:28:39.870 --> 00:28:48.210 Rob Serra: Dozens of surgeries he had metal rods everywhere, he was in constant pain, but he always had a smile on his face and if you'd say right how you doing you'd say I got cancer.

00:28:48.780 --> 00:28:56.400 Rob Serra: Now i'm dying and you think i'm doing you know he always had a joke he always made he always always comforting the person, asking them how we felt rather than them.

00:28:56.850 --> 00:29:04.410 Rob Serra: For important about himself right and and that's kind of you know how he became the face and the poster boy is that.

00:29:04.890 --> 00:29:08.880 Rob Serra: He just had that personality, you know he cared more about everybody else that he did himself, which is.

00:29:09.420 --> 00:29:22.080 Rob Serra: What got him sick in the first place, you know going on to the pile for nine months to to search for his friends, you know at that point we all knew that that it wasn't going to end well being down there for so long, but he didn't care.

00:29:23.190 --> 00:29:35.460 Rob Serra: And that's why, when he was by you know, he was he was in decline, he was in the wheelchair full time and he you know he still went down there and pain and made his trips and spoke to the members of.

00:29:36.810 --> 00:29:44.550 Rob Serra: you've probably seen the clip of Jon Stewart shaming people in the hallway with Ray next to him and his wheelchair, but we don't see is after the cameras shut off.

00:29:44.970 --> 00:29:55.710 Rob Serra: rate chasing down the senators and apologizing for for john and for you know, to put them on the spot and not trying to be rude and i'm just saying you know i'm just here we're just here because we're dying.

00:29:56.130 --> 00:30:03.540 Rob Serra: And we need help and he was he was genuine and I think even the senators who don't often show that they have a heart.

00:30:04.830 --> 00:30:13.500 Rob Serra: saw it yeah and he just he had that that sort of magnetism about him that he just he was genuine genuinely cared about people, you know his.

00:30:13.950 --> 00:30:24.180 Rob Serra: hit our motto is a quote from Ray do the right thing, even when no one is looking, and I think all those little things that happened to have Cameron to me that defines who Ray was you know.

00:30:25.290 --> 00:30:38.610 Rob Serra: Personally, a quick story I had just had my first spinal surgery in 2015 right before we went down there, and those are long grueling days lobby in Washington, you you're walking seven to eight miles a day.

00:30:39.450 --> 00:30:47.550 Rob Serra: telling you 911 story dozens of times you know it's emotionally draining physically, for me, I just couldn't walk anymore my feet were known I was leaning up against the wall.

00:30:48.690 --> 00:31:01.050 Rob Serra: And I must have had that look on my face, you know that I was done and up roles raid his wheelchair rolls over my foot, which you know let's add a little chuckle, then you just stood up and he looked at me he said sit down.

00:31:02.250 --> 00:31:15.090 Rob Serra: And I was like right i'm not sitting in your wheelchair, is it one not asking you, and you stood up and he made me sit down for like 15 minutes and take a break, because even though he had rods in his legs and barely stand, but that was him me that that defined Ray it was more about.

00:31:16.440 --> 00:31:19.080 Rob Serra: You know other people being okay and be taken care of.

00:31:20.340 --> 00:31:34.770 Rob Serra: So we got that bill passed in 2015 but again Congress does what Congress does and they only gave us they gave us 75 years on the health care, which is great, but they only gave us, five years on the on the vcs the compensation portion of the bill.

00:31:37.320 --> 00:31:42.180 Rob Serra: Which is kind of how the Ray Pfeiffer foundation got created you know they ended up.

00:31:42.510 --> 00:31:49.260 Tommy D: let's take one quick break right there rockin second, but I want to do a little to make sure we bring our gang back to listen in but.

00:31:49.800 --> 00:31:56.400 Tommy D: you're down there are lobbying you get kinda this is, I think this I don't know enough about politics of it all but.

00:31:57.390 --> 00:32:03.480 Tommy D: With backroom deals, not with you guys bond with them down there and bomb the shift, and this will give you that if you take this.

00:32:04.020 --> 00:32:15.090 Tommy D: So you get a little bit, but you don't get everything you need so it means you got to pull back down there and continue the fight so we're going to be back in just about one or two minutes rob Sarah founding board member.

00:32:16.530 --> 00:32:25.110 Tommy D: 911 first responder fdny retired fdny and and big Rangers fan right, I was going to joke with you, I guess, a big island and Just to give you the business but.

00:32:26.340 --> 00:32:28.650 Tommy D: big fan of blue shirts will be right back stay with us.

00:35:00.270 --> 00:35:06.720 Tommy D: I don't know is that a question don't i'd like you to do it, not for me it's not about me it's about amplifying the message for nonprofit organizations.

00:35:07.080 --> 00:35:17.100 Tommy D: And I do it each and every week on Friday morning I want to read you something it was just brought up in our last segment when rob Sarah and I were talking but i'm going to read it again do the right thing, even.

00:35:17.820 --> 00:35:23.640 Tommy D: when no one is looking Those are the words of Ray Pfeiffer he was on the fdny since 1987.

00:35:23.940 --> 00:35:34.710 Tommy D: And on the morning of September 11 2001 he was not working, he was actually playing golf which will lead into what i'm gonna do my call to action later on, because there's a golf outing that Robin I will talk about shortly.

00:35:36.120 --> 00:35:44.850 Tommy D: She went as far house engine 40 lot of 35 grabs his gear and spent the next eight nine months searching and digging at what we all know, is now ground zero.

00:35:45.450 --> 00:35:57.660 Tommy D: All 11 members of his Manhattan firehouse and respond to the call were killed that day and as rob Sir just shared with me Ray was diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer resulting from the work he did down at the World Trade Center site.

00:35:59.010 --> 00:36:11.700 Tommy D: But that's not where it stops he was sick, he was in bad shape, he was hurting but he dug down and Robin I would kind of chatting in the chat here, and so you can talk about rail day so.

00:36:12.210 --> 00:36:24.060 Tommy D: sounds like an incredible man and he kept finding more it's hard right rob it's the heart, he found more hard to do this for other people for for the brothers and sisters in the FDA and really anybody who.

00:36:24.600 --> 00:36:34.380 Tommy D: was involved right he's out there, advocating and and I i've seen in other articles and other interviews they refer to him as rob sarah's mentor.

00:36:35.250 --> 00:36:44.700 Tommy D: talk to me about that I love the mentor mentee relationship, how it is to be helping each other i'm not to get machine emotional but talk to me more about your friends.

00:36:46.410 --> 00:36:47.400 Rob Serra: yeah every.

00:36:48.960 --> 00:36:52.650 Rob Serra: I wish, there was a better word than mentor but I guess that's what it was for me.

00:36:53.910 --> 00:37:00.720 Rob Serra: yeah I was in rough shape when I first you know my my surgeries and I was at a pretty low point my life.

00:37:01.740 --> 00:37:06.690 Rob Serra: And there was Ray was dying and even when he was in hospice he was taking the time to message me.

00:37:08.430 --> 00:37:11.460 Rob Serra: and talk to me and encouraged me tell me to keep fighting.

00:37:13.980 --> 00:37:22.200 Rob Serra: You know, and I I don't know I think if if I didn't have Ray at that point my life I don't know I don't know if i'd be here, I don't know if I would have ended up.

00:37:22.860 --> 00:37:34.350 Rob Serra: You know, doing the things that i've done in the last five years, without his example you know it's one thing to send a text and encourage them, but he actually went out and did it, you know, like.

00:37:35.400 --> 00:37:37.170 Rob Serra: For me that's that says everything you know, he would.

00:37:40.080 --> 00:37:48.270 Rob Serra: Essentially, leave his deathbed to go do something that he knew he needed to be done to bring attention to what's happening, you know i'm.

00:37:49.980 --> 00:37:56.550 Rob Serra: And for me and I and we never overtly discussed it, but I think he wanted to make sure that.

00:37:57.570 --> 00:38:02.310 Rob Serra: The fight would continue when he was gone and I think he tried to.

00:38:03.720 --> 00:38:04.140 Rob Serra: You know.

00:38:05.430 --> 00:38:16.380 Rob Serra: equipped me with with with the ability and the knowledge and I guess his tact even though i'm not quite not quite as graceful about about the.

00:38:17.460 --> 00:38:17.700 Tommy D: You know.

00:38:18.390 --> 00:38:21.900 Rob Serra: The only Member of Congress is Ray was not moving more abrasive in my.

00:38:21.900 --> 00:38:22.140 Tommy D: tag.

00:38:22.290 --> 00:38:24.480 Tommy D: you're not apologizing in the hallway afterwards.

00:38:25.230 --> 00:38:27.270 Rob Serra: know they weren't getting any apologies I.

00:38:27.270 --> 00:38:28.020 Tommy D: mean but.

00:38:28.200 --> 00:38:31.020 Rob Serra: But it was the fight and the spirit and the.

00:38:32.520 --> 00:38:38.010 Rob Serra: You know, and the need, basically, to make sure that that people were taken care of and I think that's.

00:38:39.270 --> 00:38:46.980 Rob Serra: that's what gets lost I think when we discuss what you were saying never forget and 911 as people automatically think about COPs.

00:38:47.310 --> 00:38:58.710 Rob Serra: And firefighters right that's where we've become the symbol of 911 and everything you see you'll see a couple of firemen with the tracer in the background is something that people forget that a lot of people that are in this program.

00:38:59.880 --> 00:39:01.500 Rob Serra: we're just regular people you know.

00:39:02.550 --> 00:39:10.410 Rob Serra: mcdonald's workers construction workers office workers 19,000 school students studios kid young.

00:39:11.820 --> 00:39:16.020 Rob Serra: kids kids from 40 years old, to 16 was sent to schools.

00:39:16.290 --> 00:39:22.020 Tommy D: Because, because now i'm going to get this rob okay don't curse in the show what i'm doing is they were told it was okay to go back down there.

00:39:22.560 --> 00:39:25.140 Rob Serra: And they were sent to school, you know stuyvesant opened up.

00:39:25.710 --> 00:39:32.040 Rob Serra: You know, a week later and they're eating food in those classrooms they were a block away, you know, a couple blocks from the collapse.

00:39:32.340 --> 00:39:36.930 Rob Serra: Those kids are sick, there you know and and that's a whole nother can of worms because, how are these kids getting.

00:39:37.260 --> 00:39:45.270 Rob Serra: graduating college and getting health insurance when they have all these underlying conditions from from ground zero and that's where the compensation part.

00:39:45.900 --> 00:40:02.100 Rob Serra: is huge, because i'm unfortunate you know I got sick, yes, but I worked for the fdny I get my pension, I still get my health care, but there are hundreds of thousands of people who are volunteers or or just school students or anyone else who was there, who don't have that luxury.

00:40:03.570 --> 00:40:12.060 Tommy D: So, are they when you in 2019 when you're down there and seeing the photographs you're right near President trump and, as I understand.

00:40:12.570 --> 00:40:22.920 Tommy D: From another interview I watched that race family which down there with you signing in 2019 and again never forget, reading the title, you would never forget the heroes of droga five for Alvarez.

00:40:23.550 --> 00:40:36.600 Tommy D: Permanent authorization for the the cf the victims conference compensation act so is that now all encompassing like the legacy raise legacy the legacy of all those we've lost already and those who are sick.

00:40:37.620 --> 00:40:44.100 Tommy D: Do you are we have I don't know about happy oh you content, the is the box checked to protect these people now.

00:40:45.180 --> 00:40:56.040 Rob Serra: Unfortunately not there there's legislation now because the health program is underfunded, so now they've they're going back for more legislation to get more funds to.

00:40:56.460 --> 00:41:04.680 Rob Serra: fund the health care program um you know, which is part of my issue this all should have been taken care of in one bill 15 years ago.

00:41:05.130 --> 00:41:21.480 Rob Serra: Did the fact that they made people like Ray and Lou Alvarez and all the other heroes go down there and spend their dying days fighting for healthcare 15 years later, after the EPA christy Whitman acknowledge the fact that they misinform the public.

00:41:23.010 --> 00:41:33.150 Rob Serra: is a shame, you know and and and the fact that it's still open ended the fact that that it's not they call the permanent legislation, but why are we still going down looking for more funds.

00:41:33.810 --> 00:41:39.840 Rob Serra: Because they want the you know the old saying and Washington is never let a good crisis go unused.

00:41:40.380 --> 00:41:46.740 Rob Serra: Well you're talking about the old to be crisis right let's every few years let's let's bring up some more 911 legislation and.

00:41:47.070 --> 00:41:58.800 Rob Serra: and throw it into a bill, like the 2015 on the bus bill, which was a disaster but that's where they stopped our billing because Mitch mcconnell wanted an amendment that we could sell United States oil.

00:42:00.150 --> 00:42:12.870 Rob Serra: Overseas that that was what they traded they traded ray's life in my life so Mitch mcconnell's friends can sell oil I didn't plan on getting political but that's what they did you can you know.

00:42:12.990 --> 00:42:13.740 Rob Serra: You can Google it.

00:42:14.610 --> 00:42:15.480 Tommy D: it's out there you just.

00:42:16.200 --> 00:42:18.120 Rob Serra: found my opinion that's a fact right.

00:42:18.210 --> 00:42:28.590 Rob Serra: And in 2019 that's why, for me it was it was incredibly important to get us an up and down bill standalone with none of the pork and none of the other bullshit sorry you cursed.

00:42:28.770 --> 00:42:29.610 Tommy D: No it's all good sign.

00:42:30.450 --> 00:42:31.200 Tommy D: That we don't see.

00:42:31.500 --> 00:42:33.180 Tommy D: The seal now man now, here comes.

00:42:33.480 --> 00:42:42.300 Rob Serra: right because well that's also why you know that's how how Members got away with voting no they're like why I supported the 911 bill, but it was attached to the.

00:42:42.990 --> 00:42:44.730 Tommy D: Other stuff that was in there, I didn't want.

00:42:45.150 --> 00:42:46.590 Tommy D: I like this part but I don't like that.

00:42:46.590 --> 00:42:48.990 Rob Serra: Part right so then it gets voted down and.

00:42:49.080 --> 00:42:55.200 Rob Serra: And right or wrong, it makes it makes certain Members look bad, even if they didn't intend to you know so.

00:42:57.660 --> 00:43:01.530 Rob Serra: Anyway, we needed this bill to go for by itself, which it did.

00:43:02.940 --> 00:43:10.080 Rob Serra: So the vcs as far as I know, is it they're not having funding issues as of now, but from what I hear the.

00:43:11.370 --> 00:43:12.510 Rob Serra: Healthcare portion is.

00:43:12.690 --> 00:43:20.730 Tommy D: So this is going to have to be this is always I don't know always but, for this is going to be a continuous effort it sounds like you, you know.

00:43:21.120 --> 00:43:32.580 Tommy D: um and you know, not to say I know very much about the process and what you you all gone through, but I know you've had some some great leadership and obviously Jon Stewart you know with his music is.

00:43:33.270 --> 00:43:41.700 Tommy D: Robbie toss is his name leveraging him and having him be part of what you're doing is probably helpful, but I read something or I watched something the other day with you and.

00:43:42.150 --> 00:43:43.890 Tommy D: And it shouldn't have had to be that.

00:43:44.400 --> 00:43:55.890 Tommy D: You know it's great Jon Stewart seems like a great man that's awesome that he's involved and that's really helpful that he's using his name to help out and it's i'm sure it's not just his name i've seen him crying in front of Congress, so I know it's not just that but.

00:43:56.910 --> 00:44:04.950 Tommy D: That is bs that this has to happen, but it sounds like unfortunately that is going to there's going to continue to be the need and that's let's let's go to.

00:44:05.310 --> 00:44:15.990 Tommy D: A kind of a bit about the Foundation, because that's what you're doing, aside from the advocacy work the Foundation is serving these families and and you know, knowing what it's like to have.

00:44:17.370 --> 00:44:22.620 Tommy D: Someone that a special needs in your family knowing what it's like to have someone with health issues, I know these things personally.

00:44:24.270 --> 00:44:31.650 Tommy D: it's not just about the person who said right I watched you and not, not to say things you haven't said I watched you talk about you know you know.

00:44:32.670 --> 00:44:44.340 Tommy D: your wife your children the family, your family other families are affected by this, so what are some of the things that that the Foundation is doing and what are some of the things that the Foundation needs.

00:44:47.610 --> 00:44:50.040 Rob Serra: Well, the same thing most foundations is really.

00:44:50.130 --> 00:44:51.690 Tommy D: Financial smaller trading money.

00:44:51.690 --> 00:44:53.370 Rob Serra: I really like that I know that.

00:44:54.150 --> 00:44:55.260 Rob Serra: They the.

00:44:56.550 --> 00:45:06.270 Rob Serra: And i'm glad you brought that up I think something that gets overlooked is is the toll that that these illnesses take on the families, you know I mean my family is is.

00:45:06.810 --> 00:45:19.830 Rob Serra: As extra because my wife lost her father and so i'm for my family, I mean 911 is affects us every day, whether it's for me my you know my health and my wife's out whatever.

00:45:21.990 --> 00:45:25.320 Rob Serra: You know there's an emotional toll there my kids were young they are young.

00:45:26.700 --> 00:45:39.960 Rob Serra: So they don't know why that he has to sit in a chair all day they don't fully understand why I can't you know go out and and put the camera with them, and all those So for me the toll on my family is more.

00:45:42.630 --> 00:45:44.580 Rob Serra: is more emotional you know.

00:45:45.870 --> 00:45:52.890 Rob Serra: Then it is the physical aspects, like other people will physically have any get someone out of bed, or you know.

00:45:53.370 --> 00:45:59.880 Rob Serra: into their house something as simple as up three steps into their house, you know so so we do we do.

00:46:00.810 --> 00:46:06.120 Rob Serra: The best we can to help the individual, but we also do whatever we can to help the families, you know we build.

00:46:06.660 --> 00:46:16.500 Rob Serra: wheelchair ramps into their houses, we get them hospital beds that can lift them up out of the bed on their own, we try to give people a quality of life, you know these are things that aren't covered under the health Program.

00:46:17.910 --> 00:46:24.870 Rob Serra: wheelchairs portable oxygen tanks, it sounds simple simple right but, but the program will give you a tank this big.

00:46:25.890 --> 00:46:28.710 Rob Serra: You know you're going to go to your kids little league game with a giant oxygen tank.

00:46:28.860 --> 00:46:31.770 Rob Serra: know so we can buy them this small little backpack that they can go out.

00:46:31.770 --> 00:46:42.450 Tommy D: And that's not practical right Okay, this is what you get your cupboards for but alright, so this is like, how do I go and live, you know not how do I sit in front of the TV right, how do I, how can I say right okay.

00:46:42.630 --> 00:46:52.080 Rob Serra: How can I still be you know part of my family and then there's then there's the really expensive things like like cancer treatments, you know.

00:46:52.980 --> 00:47:02.850 Rob Serra: Anything that's considered experimental isn't going to be covered by the program and if you go to sloan I mean that's what they're doing they're they're always looking for new methods and so, if you're if you're a.

00:47:03.690 --> 00:47:12.180 Rob Serra: You know 50 year old man and you go to sloan and they say this is we think this is your best chance of survival, but it's going to cost you 20 $30,000.

00:47:13.080 --> 00:47:21.270 Rob Serra: You got to make that decision, am I going to take you know is that my daughter's college fund is it whatever and we feel that they shouldn't have to pay for that.

00:47:21.630 --> 00:47:29.010 Rob Serra: They should have to make the choice whether to stay alive or or secure the family's future so we you know that's what we do, we help them.

00:47:29.550 --> 00:47:37.740 Rob Serra: pay for those treatments or or whatever or put their family up in the hotel, so they can be close by to them, you know any any little things we could do to make that.

00:47:38.280 --> 00:47:44.130 Rob Serra: make their fight easier, is what we do, because that's what we essentially did you know he went down there, and he fought.

00:47:45.030 --> 00:47:52.950 Rob Serra: To make so we can get this health care program and the compensation so other people's lives wouldn't be as tough as his right, even though he would never say that he had a tough life.

00:47:53.430 --> 00:48:06.360 Rob Serra: Right, but he had a tough fight and his fight was made easier by the by the brotherhood as he would say and bias, the love of his family, so you know those were actually his last words to me because I was.

00:48:07.500 --> 00:48:13.530 Rob Serra: I was in a bad way I just found out, I had to have another spinal surgery, and I didn't want to do it, and I was I essentially gave up.

00:48:14.940 --> 00:48:18.750 Rob Serra: My phone rang for three days at an answer it and then it rang and it was red, and I said Ray.

00:48:20.490 --> 00:48:31.410 Rob Serra: You know i'm crying he's in hospice and I said, well, how do you do, how you still fighting, how are you still calling people you know what, what is your secret because I I got nothing, and he said.

00:48:32.460 --> 00:48:43.560 Rob Serra: I got the brotherhood and the love of my family and that's all I need, and you know that really hit home for me like I had my family 20 feet away in my house and i'm outside feeling sorry for myself, you know so.

00:48:44.760 --> 00:48:48.330 Rob Serra: We try to be that we try to be the brotherhood I mean or the sister.

00:48:49.560 --> 00:49:01.110 Rob Serra: We try to be the love of have a family for people who might not have it, or have it in their family needs needs the level, so you know that's that that was Ray and that's what we that's what we are now that's what we try to do is is be.

00:49:02.550 --> 00:49:08.280 Rob Serra: You know they call it the ray of hope we try to sprinkle a little bit of hope into people's lives you sometimes will you know.

00:49:10.500 --> 00:49:19.500 Rob Serra: People might lose that will to fight and just having somebody care and somebody show up and build a wheelchair ramp up on your frontline might be like Oh, you know people care people notice, you know and.

00:49:20.040 --> 00:49:30.330 Rob Serra: And a lot of times those wheelchair ramps and built by by fire houses and volunteers, you know we will buy the supplies, but the guys will show up and build it which, which is exactly the way it should be, you know.

00:49:30.780 --> 00:49:33.030 Tommy D: A couple things we got to take one quick break and.

00:49:33.840 --> 00:49:35.730 Tommy D: This is the thing that drives me crazy about my show.

00:49:36.720 --> 00:49:49.020 Tommy D: Because I want this to just be a conversation for you and me for two hours and people like listening in and eavesdropping, but I want to talk to you more about that wheelchair ramp I want to give a shout out to a couple guys Adam show about two weeks ago, Bob keselowski of.

00:49:50.580 --> 00:49:58.170 Tommy D: homes for the brave out of Connecticut and lonnie Sherman who's with an organization out here, medical general needs to be done so much work in the veteran community.

00:49:58.560 --> 00:50:04.050 Tommy D: And I know a lot of first responders veterans as well, a lot of effort, a lot of PD guys are veterans.

00:50:04.980 --> 00:50:14.850 Tommy D: And they're doing they're doing incredible work and project work and books for veterans and socks and underwear and the basic stuff and just hearing you talk about the work you're doing.

00:50:15.180 --> 00:50:26.850 Tommy D: i'm doing 60 days of service man and it's not a i'm not doing it for me, but we gotta go to break but 60 days of service, I want to go out when you're doing this, I want to, I want to shine a light on what you're doing and I also have a friend down in in Jersey.

00:50:28.320 --> 00:50:35.460 Tommy D: Another organization project refit I think they'd love to get involved with some of the project work I know we need checks man, we only check I get that and i'm not making light of that, but.

00:50:35.880 --> 00:50:43.020 Tommy D: I feel philanthropy can happen in a lot of different ways we can talk more about that will come back and come back rob what I really want to do is what is this.

00:50:43.650 --> 00:50:54.390 Tommy D: What, how can we help, how can we help the the dozens or hundreds of thousands of people like you this, how can they help this organization, I know it's checks there's other ways to so I want to I know you have a couple of events coming up.

00:50:54.780 --> 00:51:03.960 Tommy D: guys will be back on the way over on time sorry kyle, thank you for your work on the other side of the glass kyle but it's back to you kyle and i'll see you guys in about 90 seconds rob Sarah and Tommy.

00:53:33.540 --> 00:53:41.820 Tommy D: static my son my youngest son called me, Mr static he they will call me Tommy D Robert now he started calling Mr static instead of somebody.

00:53:42.180 --> 00:53:45.840 Tommy D: wants to come through the statics that's what I want you all to come through the static Germany in the attic room.

00:53:46.560 --> 00:53:52.770 Tommy D: When you get to set just come off mute you jump back in with me here's what I want to say last night amount of golf ball yesterday afternoon I play nine.

00:53:53.190 --> 00:53:58.800 Tommy D: Nine in net net nine networking nine holes and played a rock the links with my buddies premier payroll.

00:53:59.610 --> 00:54:08.100 Tommy D: Nice job benny pappalardo and and Mike and outfield really nice job, but why I bring it up is because two reasons friends of Karen is an organization that they were supporting.

00:54:08.550 --> 00:54:17.160 Tommy D: Most of what we're doing is supporting another organization friends of Karen helps families with a child, with a life threatening illness and helps those individual children.

00:54:17.460 --> 00:54:23.010 Tommy D: by those families with things the ancillary things rob similar what you were talking about, but I bring it up specifically for this reason.

00:54:23.610 --> 00:54:31.830 Tommy D: i'm telling a couple buddies of mine who played this for some with who, I know, but we didn't know each other that was like I got this radio show we turned into a podcast the whole thing and.

00:54:32.610 --> 00:54:39.300 Tommy D: I was telling him how excited I was about today, and they said that sounds like a great organization, how can we help, and I said.

00:54:39.840 --> 00:54:51.150 Tommy D: we're still wearing golf flows that we can go play in the routing that's one way we can help right so let's start let's start there, how can we help and talk to me about the outage I know i've seen things about.

00:54:51.870 --> 00:54:57.480 Tommy D: You know pictures of Ray I give us with the USA is right here, done outings with them in the past.

00:54:58.770 --> 00:55:09.360 Tommy D: So talk to me a little bit about his outing talking about I know there's another big thing coming off the hockey game is coming up on the ninth so tell us how we can support that and and how we can support the organization.

00:55:11.430 --> 00:55:25.320 Rob Serra: Well, the golf outing is our is our big event every year it's at lake success in long island, which is where right Ray did run the USA golf outing with lori bruin from our foundation.

00:55:26.970 --> 00:55:28.980 Rob Serra: And you know what.

00:55:30.660 --> 00:55:38.610 Rob Serra: Ray love doing that ray's ray's biggest thing every year was the widow and widows and children's Christmas party Ray was always have you to raise money.

00:55:39.630 --> 00:55:42.900 Rob Serra: You know, for the USA or for fire department causes.

00:55:44.430 --> 00:55:47.610 Rob Serra: We have sponsorships available, we have foursomes available.

00:55:48.990 --> 00:55:52.590 Rob Serra: You could simply make a donation you don't want a website.

00:55:52.860 --> 00:55:53.490 Rob Serra: what's the website.

00:55:53.790 --> 00:55:55.590 Tommy D: Well, while we're talking about we haven't mentioned yet.

00:55:56.040 --> 00:56:02.640 Rob Serra: it's the re five for and another great thing we do is we allow people to sponsor.

00:56:03.060 --> 00:56:17.130 Rob Serra: first responders and legacies to play golf So if you can't make it and you, you want, you know you want to see somebody who's whose father passed away from 911 illness or or a member of the fdny hockey team get to play golf.

00:56:18.210 --> 00:56:32.670 Rob Serra: You know, we gladly accept sponsorships for golfers and I gotta say the celebrities that come to play golf with us, usually enjoy playing with the with the firefighters and police officers more than the firefighters enjoy playing with them, you know.

00:56:34.200 --> 00:56:35.250 Tommy D: I bet i'm sure.

00:56:35.460 --> 00:56:44.370 Rob Serra: um so yeah there's you go to our website and go to the golf classic tab and you know there's there's plenty of ways, you could support that.

00:56:44.880 --> 00:56:56.610 Rob Serra: And as you mentioned the hockey game which is scheduled for September 9 and Madison square garden our foundation is a you know big part of it, big part of the planning and the sponsorship and.

00:56:57.420 --> 00:57:03.480 Rob Serra: I have to say, the sky hockey team has supported us from day one, you know, I was on the team for six years.

00:57:05.010 --> 00:57:15.330 Rob Serra: And you know, like you were saying earlier about the brotherhood you know anything I need i've just put a message on that group me whether it's a ride somewhere or somebody to come.

00:57:16.200 --> 00:57:23.190 Rob Serra: move something for me or paint something for me and I get a response in 10 minutes you know those guys are great and.

00:57:24.180 --> 00:57:34.560 Rob Serra: And so you know we do our best to support them, but they really they really support us and that games, it should be amazing you know it's the 20th anniversary of 911 and most people remember.

00:57:35.910 --> 00:57:44.160 Rob Serra: The image and mark Messier wearing Larry mcgee's helmet with the picture chief downey on it um it's kind of one of the lasting images of 911.

00:57:45.270 --> 00:57:50.340 Rob Serra: So we thought no better place than Madison square garden the week of 911 to commemorate.

00:57:51.240 --> 00:57:53.190 Tommy D: Is that a sold out crowd already or the.

00:57:53.220 --> 00:57:58.500 Rob Serra: He was where was still working out the details, but we're honoring the tickets that were sold.

00:57:59.400 --> 00:57:59.910 Tommy D: Last year.

00:58:00.510 --> 00:58:09.300 Rob Serra: For last year, but obviously there's different protocols now with with covert and vaccinations so we're still working out the kinks in that hopefully we'll have an answer on that.

00:58:09.480 --> 00:58:14.370 Tommy D: Is there, aside from showing up with the Games their sponsorship opportunities people would want to get involved with for the.

00:58:14.550 --> 00:58:17.340 Rob Serra: event, yes, yes, there are sponsorship opportunities.

00:58:17.940 --> 00:58:28.680 Rob Serra: You know the nypd and fdny hockey teams are five or one free seat cherries themselves, they raised a lot of money for widows and children's the raid five for foundation and.

00:58:29.610 --> 00:58:37.680 Rob Serra: You know, I just want to add I don't know if I touched on this, but the very foundation isn't just for firefighters are fdny we cover all first responders.

00:58:38.280 --> 00:58:45.660 Rob Serra: For many agency as long as you're enrolled in the road traits that a health program as a first responder you're eligible to get help from us.

00:58:46.740 --> 00:58:54.180 Rob Serra: Which is another way people can help us is just by spreading our word to people who need the help you know, yes, we need the money, but we also.

00:58:54.810 --> 00:59:04.410 Rob Serra: You know, we want people to know that we're here to help, we want to help as many people as we can, no matter what state you live in if you're in the program you know someone who's sick go to our website, you can apply right on the website.

00:59:04.740 --> 00:59:15.630 Tommy D: So if I can interrupt you one SEC rob so share this out folks if you're listening to us and you're hearing this story share this share this about the organization, but it's not just hey we need more money to help our programs.

00:59:15.990 --> 00:59:25.380 Tommy D: I think there's a parallel to veterans I think sometimes it's got to be these veterans organizations, at times, a challenge to find the veterans so it almost sounds like it's a similar situation here.

00:59:25.560 --> 00:59:32.970 Rob Serra: yeah and and a big part of the problem is is we're trying to help the helpers right and who's the last person to ask for help.

00:59:33.120 --> 00:59:46.560 Rob Serra: that's course know and and I think that's you know a lot of times they're waiting till it's too late, so our big angle is, if you don't want to take the help for yourself take it for your family people always they always say the beginning we get as someone who needs it more than me.

00:59:46.800 --> 00:59:50.550 Rob Serra: Right and my answer is what ray's answer would be no there's not we.

00:59:51.210 --> 00:59:56.310 Tommy D: could be towards their selfless that's why that's who they are, they wouldn't be in the service roles that wasn't who they are right.

00:59:56.340 --> 00:59:58.020 Rob Serra: Exactly you know so.

00:59:59.160 --> 01:00:08.820 Rob Serra: You know that that's what we try to tell them if you don't want to take to help yourself take it for your family, so your wife doesn't have to lift you out of bed every day or whatever, so you can go to your kids a little league game, or whatever it may be.

01:00:10.020 --> 01:00:15.720 Rob Serra: So getting the word out there that we're here to help and actually getting people to you know, accept the help.

01:00:17.190 --> 01:00:18.000 Rob Serra: would be a big help.

01:00:18.960 --> 01:00:20.580 Tommy D: So let's help everybody, you probably.

01:00:20.670 --> 01:00:21.390 Rob Serra: Listen this.

01:00:21.450 --> 01:00:33.180 Tommy D: I gotta bring the show to a close, I appreciate you carving out and investing this time with me on I know it's family time I know it's family week but I appreciate you making the effort to be here with me today because it's important story to be told.

01:00:33.750 --> 01:00:42.660 Tommy D: And I have some REACH, and I can tell people, the story with with your help, so thanks for being here really appreciate you one last thing before I close the show, I want to say, do the right thing.

01:00:43.080 --> 01:00:48.120 Tommy D: Even when no one is looking that's your friend and and my uncle Joe said he knew Ray as well.

01:00:48.480 --> 01:00:54.570 Tommy D: i'm i'm sorry I didn't meet Ray but I like to hear the stories you're telling about him and I love that you're living his legacy and.

01:00:54.990 --> 01:01:06.480 Tommy D: And he's proud and would work you're doing the organization is doing so thank you for that um rob I hope to meet in person at some point soon, maybe I can get my kids out to that that hockey game i'm assuming you'll be there on the night as well right.

01:01:06.750 --> 01:01:07.980 Rob Serra: yeah i'll be there.

01:01:09.150 --> 01:01:10.410 Tommy D: i'll see if I worked out with my.

01:01:10.410 --> 01:01:18.000 Tommy D: cred i'm all right listen gang, this is it every week we amplify the message for nonprofits this show is for philanthropy and focus.

01:01:18.420 --> 01:01:25.350 Tommy D: You can follow me on tick tock follow me on instagram Tommy dot nyc you just want to reach out to me by email Tommy excellent focus calm.

01:01:25.590 --> 01:01:32.190 Tommy D: And why would you reach out to me well, maybe you want me to come out and help out and do a day service and tell the story about your organization in real time.

01:01:32.400 --> 01:01:42.540 Tommy D: Maybe you want to come on the show maybe you know, an organization that would value this stay tuned on talk radio dot nyc for my buddy Steve fried always Friday Jeremiah fox on the entrepreneur Web.

01:01:42.870 --> 01:01:51.000 Tommy D: I will be back here next week john winkle of the he's the CEO of the Stanford partnership out of Connecticut will be here with me in the attic.

01:01:51.510 --> 01:01:59.340 Tommy D: and listen I tell everybody every week, make it a great day make it a great week and rob Sir, I appreciate you man, I look forward to meeting you soon again real life.

01:01:59.580 --> 01:02:01.080 Rob Serra: yeah you gotta you soon thanks for.

01:02:01.650 --> 01:02:02.880 Tommy D: Taking these metal see soon bye.

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