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MCA Monthly Luncheon - December

  • December 08, 2022
  • 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • DeRomas - 26795 S Bay Dr #170, Bonita Springs
  • 9

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How an Antique NYC Fire Helmet Brought Jerry Sanford to NYC the Day Before 9/11

In 2021 Jerry co-authored a best seller novel, “It Started With a Helmet”. The story recounts him finding an antique FDNY helmet in Naples, Florida. The journey includes him attending an event in the South Bronx on behalf of North Collier Fire District, Jerry flew out of New York City the morning of September 11th, 2001 mere hours before the attack on the World Trade Center. He returned to New York City five days later and spent one month in the FDNY Press Office coordinating press with the major network news affiliates which published and broadcast the accounts around the world.

In 2003, Jerry was asked by Collier County officials to join a movement to build a lasting Freedom Memorial in Naples, Florida to remember the innocent people killed on September 11th and all the members of the armed forces who have fought and died for our freedom. A Collier County Freedom Memorial task force was formed and the fundraising began. After many years, the Freedom Memorial was finally funded and dedicated on September 9th, 2016.

About the Speaker - Jerry Sanford

Born and raised on Staten Island in New York City, Jerry joined the United States Navy and served from 1956 to 1962. He joined the New York City Police Department in 1965 and transferred to the New York City Fire Department in 1968, where he worked in various fire companies throughout his 29 year career. During his tenure at FDNY, he transferred into the Fire Department Press Office in 1991 and was appointed Press Secretary to the Fire Commissioner one year later. He retired from the FDNY in 1997 and relocated to Naples Florida in January 2000. He failed at retirement and was hired by the North Naples Fire District as their Public Information Officer in the spring of 2000.

Attending an event in the South Bronx on behalf of North Collier Fire District, Jerry flew out of New York City the morning of September 11th, 2001, mere hours before the attack on the World Trade Center. He returned to New York City five days later and spent one month in the FDNY Press Office coordinating press with the major network news affiliates which published and broadcast the accounts around the world.

In March of 2001, Jerry formed the Gulf Coast Retired Firefighters Association and was President for six years.

In 2003, Jerry was asked by Collier County officials to join a movement to build a lasting Freedom Memorial in Naples, Florida to remember the innocent people killed on September 11th and all the members of the armed forces who have fought and died for our freedom. A Collier County Freedom Memorial task force was formed and the fundraising began. After many years, the Freedom Memorial was finally funded and dedicated on September 9th, 2016. It stands, surrounded by commemorative bricks, in the Fred W. Coyle Freedom Park at Golden Gate Parkway and Goodlette Frank Road.




MCA of Greater Naples, 2500 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 2201, Naples, FL 34109

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