Posts Tagged ‘lisa simmons’

LAPD SWAT “Runs for Kids Who Can’t” in LA Marathon

Sunday, March 2, 2008 @ 03:03 PM Author:
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 1, 2001 On your mark, get set, go! Those are the words that echo through the ears of thousands of runners who complete the Los Angeles Marathon annually. To them, feeling the thrill of competition and the exhilaration of running across the finish line is unparalleled. Johnny Garcia, age 15, thought he would never know the feeling of running across a finish line, because he was born with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle control, resulting in poor coordination and balance or abnormal movement patterns. After 18 surgeries at Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital on Johnny’s feet, legs, back, and ankle, he is able to walk with a walker and take part in activities previously thought impossible. Now, on March 4th, Johnny will be able to pursue his dream of participating in the Los Angeles Marathon, with the help of his friends on the LAPD SWAT Team, who will push him in a wheelchair during the race. “I’m excited to be able to participate in the Marathon,” exclaimed Johnny Garcia. “And with LAPD SWAT Team helping me, it’s really unbelievable. I like those guys and maybe someday I can be on the SWAT Team,” he said. Johnny’s mother, Carmen Garcia, added, “Orthopaedic Hospital and the therapy department have been very good to Johnny. Everyone at the Hospital really cares about the patients.” Twenty-six SWAT Team officers will take turns pushing Johnny in a special lightweight, sports wheelchair as they run 26.2 miles in the world’s fourth largest marathon. This experience allows youngsters, like Johnny, to participate in an event of such magnitude. “We are truly grateful to the LAPD SWAT Team for being such strong supporters of Orthopaedic Hospital, and for giving Johnny this once in a lifetime opportunity to complete the LA Marathon,” said Eloise Helwig, President of Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation. “SWAT’s ongoing support of the Hospital is greatly appreciated, and it truly brightens the lives of our children who get to meet these real life heroes,” she added. Many Orthopaedic Hospital pediatric and adult patients have serious medical conditions that prohibit them from running or walking. Orthopaedic Hospital has been dedicated to treating underinsured children with crippling disorders, without regard to their family’s ability to pay. For many years, LAPD SWAT has been supportive of Orthopaedic Hospital’s efforts and gives hope and inspiration to hospitalized children. A variety of events, including an annual Holiday parade and toy drive, as well as the Los Angeles Marathon, have further strengthened the bond between the two organizations. “Helping Johnny achieve his wish of completing a marathon is something that motivates all of us, and provides us with a perspective on life,” said Lt. Mike Albanese of the LAPD SWAT Team. “It’s the children who are treated at Orthopaedic Hospital who are our real heroes,” he added. Since 1967, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Weapons And Tactics Team (SWAT) has provided a ready response to situations that were beyond the capabilities of normally equipped and trained Department personnel. Since its inception, LAPD SWAT Team members have effected the safe rescue of numerous hostages, arrested scores of violent suspects and earned hundreds of commendations and citations, including several Medals of Valor, the Department’s highest award for heroism in the line of duty. Today, the LAPD SWAT Team is known worldwide as one of the foremost police tactical units in contemporary law enforcement. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Orthopaedic Hospital is a recognized world leader in research, teaching and patient care in orthopaedic medicine, resulting in an improved quality of life for children and adults with crippling diseases. For over 88 years, Orthopaedic Hospital has been helping children afflicted with crippling conditions receive the finest care in the world and lead healthy, active lives without regard to the family’s ability to pay. The Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation supports the Hospital through a variety of fund-raising activities, including the annual Paul Runyan Golf Tournament, which provides monetary support for the Hospital to help countless children. For more information about Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation, please visit the website at, or call (213) 742-1500.

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Outpouring of respect, donations continues for Simmons, his family Slain SWAT officer prized as Fairfax grad Lisa Simmons Speaks at Fairfax High Angelenos on Saturday honored slain Los Angeles Police Department Officer Randal Simmons, with high schoolers from his alma mater dedicating a baseball season to him while others washed cars to raise money for his family.Fairfax High School’s baseball team dedicated its 2008 season to the officer in a midmorning ceremony. Simmons, a SWAT team member who was killed during a shootout with an armed man in Winnetka last month, graduated from the school in 1974. With a smile, Lisa Simmons accepted a glass plaque in her late husband’s honor, telling the assembled baseball players, fans and families about his fondness for the campus. “This was my husband’s school. He loved Fairfax,” she said, clutching the plaque. “I know he’s looking down, smiling.” The widow of the former cop, who doubled as a minister, said her husband would have told the kids to stay in school and stay off drugs. “God wants you to have a good life,” she said. “That’s what you were designed for.” She grinned and called out the school’s pregame battle cry: “Fairfax, you ready?” The players responded: “You know!” As they left the field to the sound of applause, Simmons’ 15-year-old son, Matthew, said his father had come back to visit Fairfax High School about a year ago. “He said it’s beautiful now,” Matthew Simmons said. “He would be happy.” At Reseda High School, about 80 kids in the Police Academy Magnet program braved the cool, cloudy weather and hosed down hundreds of cars, collecting money that would go to help the family Simmons left behind.The magnet program puts students on track for careers in law enforcement. Several of the kids who were there washing and vacuuming cars – for $5 to $7 a pop – had attended Simmons’ funeral. “I cried. It was a very gloomy day,” said Amanda Lillard, a 17-year-old senior. “When you hear that – someone risking their life to save another – you want to go. … His legacy will live on forever. He’s a hero.” Simmons and his partner, Officer James Veenstra, were shot Feb. 7 during a gunbattle that ended an 11-hour standoff. It began after 20-year-old Edwin Garcia killed three family members and told police to “come get me.” Simmons was the first LAPD Special Weapons and Tactics officer killed in the line of duty. Veenstra was seriously wounded but was released from the hospital to attend his partner’s funeral. An LAPD sniper killed Garcia as he fled from his family’s house, which caught fire after police fired flash-bang grenades inside to smoke him out. On Saturday, several other groups also put on fundraising events to benefit the officers. The San Fernando Valley Jaycees held a pizza benefit at California Pizza Kitchen. Niko’s Pizzeria in San Pedro said it would donate 50 percent of the restaurant’s Saturday sales proceeds to Simmons’ widow and two children. Two weeks ago, owners of a Burger King near downtown Los Angeles raised $75,000 for the family. And today, 30 LAPD officers will run in the Los Angeles Marathon in honor of Simmons. “It’s comforting, having all the outpouring of love,” Lisa Simmons said. “We can’t mourn his death. We have to celebrate his 51 years of life.”

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SWAT officers to run L.A. Marathon in tribute to Simmons

Sunday, March 2, 2008 @ 01:03 PM Author:
SWAT officers to run L.A. Marathon in tribute to Simmons A team of 30 will conduct a torch relay during Sunday’s race to salute SWAT officer killed in Feb. 7 shootout. March 1, 2008 A team of 30 SWAT officers will run a torch relay during Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon in tribute to Randal Simmons, the SWAT officer killed Feb. 7 in a shootout in Winnetka. Simmons’ 15-year-old son, Matt, will run the final 1.2 miles with the officers. They hope to raise money to fund Matt’s education and that of his 12-year-old sister, Gabrielle, who will stand at the finish line with Simmons’ widow, Lisa. “Every single road that we’re running on, Randy worked as a uniformed officer or he worked there as a SWAT officer,” Sgt. Charles Buttitta, Simmons’ supervisor, said Friday. “So he provided protection for all the people that live on those roads, the businesses that operate on those roads. This is a way for us to honor that.” Race organizers set a head start of 19 minutes 38 seconds for the elite women’s field. The first person across the finish line will earn a $100,000 bonus, with an additional $20,000 for the men’s and women’s divisions. The rest of the field will start at 8:15 a.m. at Universal Studios, preceded by the wheelchair division start at 7:55. The bike tour will start at 5:45 at Figueroa Street, near the Coliseum.

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