Here at Pelican, we’ve been a part of the Firefighter and First Responder Community for many, many years. When 9/11 happened, we grieved with the rest of the country and were galvanized by tragedy - knowing that we have to help honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The Pelican Products 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb serves as a way to honor and remember the FDNY firefighters who selflessly gave their lives so that others might live on September 11th, 2001. Each participant pays tribute to an FDNY firefighter by climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center, commemorating those brave men and women and honoring them each year with this tribute.
Through this event and firefighter community participation, we can ensure that each of the 343 firefighters is recognized and that the world knows that we will never forget. Proceeds go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) to remember and honor the fallen and to help support their families.
To get some perspective on the event, we sat down with Pelican Employee, Kim Raimondi who participated in the climb and asked her a few questions:
Kim: I’ve only been with Pelican as a salesperson for a short time in the Commercial/Government Division, but I’ve been a volunteer firefighter in my small hometown of Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ for 12 years. I’m a second generation firefighter and have the awesome ability to serve next to my dad day in and day out.
Pelican: How is this event important to you?
Kim: It’s incredibly humbling to work for an organization such as Pelican that believes in giving back and the same fundamentals that I do. This was my second year participating in the Pelican sponsored 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. The event was originally organized in memory of our 343 fallen brothers who ascended the World Trade Center putting themselves last to save as many people as they could. This year was a bit special as my dad (an ex-chief and active firefighter) tagged along with me to do the climb. It’s not often you get to bring your dad along to “work,” right? We donned our gear and climbed the equivalent of 110 stories up, down, and around (many times over) M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The fire service family is something unequivocal to anything else in this world. When you reference your firefighter “brothers or sisters,” they truly are there for you. So my dad, myself, and our brothers and sisters marched to remember, in unison to remember.
Pelican: What was your favorite part of the climb?
Kim: My favorite part of the day didn’t take place on the actual stair climb. Each climber was given a name or two of a person to climb in their memory. At the beginning of the morning, I dug through the 343 names and found one of our guys. We live about 16 miles west of New York City. I grew up and still currently live in the city’s shadows. Many people in my neighborhood work in New York. One of our brother firemen went to work on September 11th, 2001 just like any other day. I had to make sure I found Dana’s name and presented it to my dad when he arrived at the stadium. He didn’t say much, just a smile as he wore his name in remembrance. He brought back Dana’s name tag to his department in New Jersey once we returned from Baltimore. He didn’t tell me, but I knew he was proud that he climbed in his honor.
A special thanks to Kim for her participation and positivity. It’s been our honor to host this event, and we give our sincere gratitude to first responders across the country that show up to work everyday to keep us safe. Keep an eye on the Pelican Professional Facebook Page for updates on our upcoming events.