In remembrance of September 11, Mount Loretto Friendship Club prepares a feast to thank firefighters

By Vincent Barone Staten Island Advance

Firefighter George Corrado with friendship club member Theresa Giordano. (Staten Island Advance Irving Silverstein)

Firefighter George Corrado with friendship club member Theresa Giordano. (Staten Island Advance Irving Silverstein)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Come noontime, about a half-dozen firefighters at the Engine 151/Ladder 76 firehouse were reposed on a couch with the remains of a great feast on a table before them.

Each year, in remembrance of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the senior citizens of Mount Loretto Friendship Club brings homemade and local cuisine, including baked goods (marble cake, donuts, etc.) and traditional Italian fare (sausage and onions and eggplant parmesan), to the Tottenville station as a “thank you” for the firefighters’ service.

“It’s like having 30 grandmothers come over,” said Lt. Brian Garguilo of Engine 151. “It’s just great that they do this and it’s very much appreciated.”

Club member Jean Russo started the event 12 years ago. Over time, the firefighters started cooking up their own egg and pancake dishes to share with the club members when they come to the firehouse.

“We have a lot of seniors here who lost children in 9/11, including firefighters,” said Anna Stout, Mount Loretto site coordinator. “The club is so happy to do this for them because the firefighters are always there for them. The seniors are very grateful.”

The club delivers the food in the morning, before 9 a.m., and holds the traditional six moments of silence with the firefighters to commemorate 9/11 events. A joint firefighter and Friendship Club photo is taken outside the house before the grand meal is enjoyed together.

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