2010-03-19 / Community

Local Runs For Firefighters And Their Families

20-Mile Jog Highlights ‘Friends Of Firefighters’
By Howard Schwach

Missy Reder at The Wave office earlier this week. On May 19, she will run from Rockaway to Red Hook in Brooklyn to raise funds and awareness for the Friends of Firefighters. Missy Reder at The Wave office earlier this week. On May 19, she will run from Rockaway to Red Hook in Brooklyn to raise funds and awareness for the Friends of Firefighters. Belle Harbor resident Missy Reder is getting ready for the jog of her life – 20 miles from Rockaway to Red Hook in Brooklyn.

“I’ve never run more than ten miles at one time in my life,” the vivacious blonde told The Wave this week. “This is going to be a new experience, but one way or another, I am going to make it.”

The run is important to Reder, the wife of a firefighter who was involved in 9-11 and the mother of four kids.

She is running to raise funds for and awareness of the Friends of Firefighters, a non-profit group that helps not only firefighters, but their families as well.

“Things happen to firefighters, what they do and what they see all the time,” Reder said. “As much as they love the job, it affects them and what affects them also affects their families. “They helped us, my husband and our family, after 9-11,” she said. “Rockaway is full of firefighters and many of them don’t even know about the organization.”

The organization’s website says that its primary focus is providing immediate practical support to firefighters and their families in the wake of 9-11.”

The organization offers confidential, individual marriage and family counseling through partnerships with national service providers as well as “wellness trips,” and special events for firefighters and their families. It also provides less critical services such as yoga and massages, Reder says.

Reder says that even with the 9-11 tragedy nine years in the past, “it is never over for firefighters and their families.

“There are health related problems that spring up years later,” she says. “There are family relationship problems. There are lots of problems that need to be addressed.”

Once a month, Friends of Firefighters holds an “on the arm” breakfast at its Red Hook headquarters (in an old, unused firehouse) hosted by famed firefighter-chef Tony Catapano.

She plans to tie her May 19 run in with that month’s breakfast.

Reder says that she has already received some sponsorships for her run on her Facebook page (Missy Reder) and from her e-mail (missyreder@- gmail.com). She is asking sponsors to pledge one dollar a mile, or $20 to the organization. She also hopes to show other firefighters how helpful the organization can be.

She will leave Beach 129 and run over the Marine Parkway Bridge, along the Belt Parkway to Emmons Avenue and then to Coney Island Avenue into Brooklyn.

She says that her husband and family will be along the route to cheer her on, but otherwise will be alone in her run.

“This is something I have to do,” she says. “For all the firefighters and their families who were affected by 9-11.”

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