NEW YORK, May 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- This past week was a memorable evening at the Plaza Hotel. The Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation (FEHSF) (https://www.fehsf.org/), hosted its 5th Ridge Awards, "Profiles of Patriotism," attended by over 400 current and former law enforcement officials, community representatives and business leaders, to listen to tales of bravery from the people who protect our country. Special Agents in Charge and Agency Heads spoke of the importance and value of teamwork. The FEHSF honors two recipients for their longtime support of the Law Enforcement Community. This year's recipients were Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress who received FEHSF Lifetime Achievement Award, and Henry S. Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery Network, who received FEHSF Patriot Award.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, co-founded the organization together with Richard S. Kendall. Ridge, Honorary Chairman of FEHSF said, "What I think a lot of people don't understand is that when you put on that uniform of public service, whether you're in the military or the Department of Homeland Security, the whole family puts on the uniform."
Governor Ridge thanked the foundation for paying homage to the courageous men and women who work tirelessly and risk their lives to maintain a strong and safe nation, of the ATF, CBP, DEA, FBI, HSI, USMS and USSS.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation, Richard S. Kendall, welcomed everyone and said, "you are here because you care about our Country and respect our courageous friends in Federal Law Enforcement. FEHSF is a humanitarian, non-political and patriotic foundation whose mission in these critical hours, through our Grants Program, is to provide financial assistance to Federal Agents and family members within 24-48 hours after tragedy strikes in response to emergencies - before traditional help can arrive. We have provided in excess of $2.5 Million in Grants to our heroes in Federal Law Enforcement."
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Vice Chairwoman of Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation, spoke passionately about her involvement, with her children by her side, explaining how, "We as a Country have witnessed tremendous heroics, by these brave men and women, going straight into dangerous situations without thought for their own safety. Crossing all boundaries, bridging all gaps, the Agents of Federal Law Enforcement, come together to remind us all what it means to care. When we wonder where are the heroes of today and who will our children look up to for inspiration in the future, I offer these great men and women, from all across the nation, who show up to aid their fellow Americans in their hour of enormous need." Later in the evening, during the program, when introducing the guest speaker of the evening, Terry Carothers, Ms. Winston Wolkoff paid tribute to the fallen agents proclaiming, "that those who serve and protect the fundamental freedoms of our country, and to their family members, who pay the ultimate sacrifice, when tragedy strikes - FEHSF is here for you. These are the true heroes and patriots of our country, their unimaginable stories and stories of their heroic families."
Terry Carothers, widow of fallen hero, United States Marshal Pat Carothers, spoke of how she turned to Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation in her time of desperate financial need and how FEHSF immediately responded with a grant and support. Terry Carothers lost her husband of 30 years, and father to their five children, when Pat was shot and killed as he attempted to serve a warrant to a fugitive who was wanted for unspeakable crimes.
Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, and both Pentagon official and U.S. Ambassador to Austria during the Reagan Administration, received FEHSF's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly praised Lauder, saying he has "a profound commitment to public service and dedicated his life to helping other people and he's never wavered in his staunch support for law enforcement."
"Even as we face challenges and threats like never before," Ambassador Lauder said, addressing federal agents past and present, and their families, "America is with you, our nation is in your debt, and we will not take you for granted."
Chris Hansen of Crime Watch Daily and Hansen News Network was brilliant as Master of Ceremonies introduced Mr. Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Destination America, and American Heroes Channel, which commands one of the most powerful, far reaching and influential broadcast empires in the world, who received FEHSF's Patriot Award.
"It has been my privilege to shine a light on the heroic work of the federal law enforcement community and first responders – the courageous, selfless work – that often goes unrewarded – or, more recently, has been needlessly embroiled in the politics of today. He continued by invoking Winston Churchill's admonition, "We make a living by what we get – but, we make a life…by what we give, and, accordingly, I'm just very proud to be able to support an organization that supports YOU during your times of need."
Mr. Schleiff received a standing ovation when he clearly announced, "Let me be clear – and, let there be no doubt: Americans across this nation – Republican, Democrat, Liberal or Conservative – think so highly of what you do so bravely, day in and day out; and, are appreciative of the fact that it is you, here, who truly protect us from threats and harm, we can only imagine."
The evening had a surprise performance by country singer-songwriter Corbette Jackson, a Georgia native who is no stranger to how his music connects to affect meaningful change, and whose own life experiences helped shape his character and his music today. Jackson performed "Dandelion," his new single, to honor Federal Law Enforcement, and then thanked them for their sacrifices to protect us all by dedicating the song to them.
During the live auction portion of the program, the evening's announcer and auctioneer, Bill McCuddy, raised twice the expected amount, almost $65,000, including surprise celebrity experiences with Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who surprised the crowd by hopping on stage and saying, "Auction me!" Mr. McCuddy then pulled from the crowd, Fitness and Wellness expert David Kirsch, who has spent the last two decades shaping and sculpting clients including Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, Liv Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.
Closing remarks for the evening were given by Stephen Baldwin who praised the Federal Law Enforcement and Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation.
Notable attendees included
Governor Tom Ridge, Ronald S. Lauder, Leonard Lauder, Henry Schleiff, Former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Richard S. Kendall, Dan Knopf , Paul Annunziato, Chris Hansen, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Dr. Jordan Josephson, Stephen Baldwin, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Gerry Byrne, Bill Hemmer, Barbara and Bruce Winston, Bill McCuddy, Joe Piscopo, David Burke, Mic Chandrani, George Venizelos, Lewis Rice, David Wolkoff, Randall Batinkoff, , Alex Badia, Edward O'Sullivan, Michal Grayevsky, Tony and Elizabeth LoBianco, Carol Alt, Nathan Mousselli, David Kirsch, and Corbette Jackson
For more information about FEHSF, go to https://www.fehsf.org/.
SOURCE Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation (FEHSF)