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Golfing for heroes

Colonie Golf Course to host fundraiser for Fallen Firefighters Foundation

— Firefighters across the state put their lives on the line to help citizens on a daily basis, so an organization that helps the families of fallen firefighters has come up with a fun way to give back.

The first Fallen Firefighters Golf Tournament will be held Monday, Aug. 18, at the Town of Colonie Golf Course, and the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York is encouraging anyone interested in participating to register. Organizers are hoping it will become an annual event.

This tournament is one of a series of events that takes place across the country to help support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Congress created the NFFF in 1992 as a nonprofit to help support families of fallen firefighters. The first golf fundraiser was held in 2004, and now there are similar ones that take place in 30 different states. There is also an event in Rochester each June.

Brian McQueen, the tournament chairman, said the Town of Colonie Golf Course was chosen for the fundraiser due to its proximity to the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York office on Washington Avenue and the Desmond Hotel, where firefighters will be staying for the 142nd annual FASNY convention.

“We have the New York State Fallen Firefighters Monument here in Albany, and we thought it would be great to bring the tournament here in support of the fallen firefighters and volunteers,” said McQueen.

In 1998, Gov. George Pataki dedicated the 54-foot-long granite and marble monument that has the names of more than 2,100 men and women who have lost their lives fighting fires in the state since 1806. Every year, the convention honors firefighters who died in the line of duty in the previous year, and the NFFF pays for the families to attend the event.

McQueen said he hopes the event will draw a lot of participants and become a mainstay in the area.

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