By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Pasadena Weekly Executive Editor

Firefighters save lives daily and, to that, the public owes a debt of gratitude.

To that, Pasadena-based Fire Family Foundation is hosting the Fire Boot Classic on Saturday, Oct. 9, at The London Hotel in West Hollywood.

Emceed by Ellen Leyva, ABC7 co-anchor, the event features a rooftop poker tournament and casino games, skyline views, gourmet dinner, cocktails and silent auction.

“The Fire Boot Classic started as a poker tournament, and we have a casino night for the people who don’t play poker,” said Michael Treger, an attorney with Straussner & Sherman and event co-chair.

“We have professional dealers and professional equipment, real poker tables, and then we have casino games as well. It’s a fun night trying to raise money for the foundation.”

Harry Crusberg Jr., retired Pasadena Fire Department battalion chief, and owner of Crusberg Decker Insurance Services Inc., will be honored.

“Firefighters sacrifice their personal safety to help others by responding to fires, disasters, car accidents and health crises,” said Elizabeth Dever, executive director.

“Now is our time to step up to help those who support us on our worst days. Attending our Fire Boot Classic is fun and provides needed funds for our core programs.”

This event funds the foundation’s four core programs, which provide support and financial assistance to firefighters and their families in need: relief grants to firefighter families facing hardship, annual college scholarships to the children of firefighters, disaster relief to firefighters who have lost their homes, and grants to other fire charities.

To attend, call Robyn Popp, development associate, at 323-550-2208 or visit Tickets are $250. For firefighters and those who purchase a table of 10 or more, they are $200.

The Fire Family Foundation was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when 343 New York City firefighters were lost in the World Trade Center. Firefighters First Federal Credit Union was entrusted with charitable donations made by members of the fire service and the community.

The response resulted in the vision to establish a nonprofit foundation focused on serving the firefighting community. In 2008, the Fire Family Foundation was established. The Fire Family Foundation’s mission is to provide support and financial assistance to firefighters and their families in times of need. Firefighters First Federal Credit Union supports the Fire Family Foundation’s overhead costs, so 100% of donations to the foundation go directly to support its mission and programs.