Holiday Heroes steps up big, raises lots of money

Dec 11, 2014, 2:28 AM | Updated: 4:40 pm

Just after midnight on May 12, a Mesa police officer was on his way home after his shift when his car was struck on U.S. 60 by a car driving the wrong way.

The officer, Brandon Mendoza, was killed in the fiery wreck.

The 100 Club of Arizona was there for Mendoza’s family immediately.

“I had never heard of the 100 Club before,” Brandon’s mom Mary Ann Mendoza told the crowd at Arizona Sports’ Holiday Heroes on Wednesday.

Mendoza hadn’t left the hospital yet in the wee hours of the morning when she met the 100 Club of Arizona.

“Someone walked up and handed me an envelope and said, ‘This is from the 100 Club’ and I put it in my purse.”

The next day Mary Ann started to realize what needed to be done to honor and remember her son and that it was going to be very costly. She remembered that envelope she had been given and opened it.

“It was money that covered his funeral costs and allowed us to be together as a family without worrying about the financial costs,” Mary Ann said.

The 100 Club of Arizona’s mission is to provide immediate financial assistance to families of public safety officers and firefighters who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, and to provide resources to enhance their safety and welfare.

Yes, that last part is true too.

Families affected by tragedy aren’t the only ones who benefit from the 100 Club of Arizona. Different departments around the state are also able to buy equipment to further their safety, such as specialized clothing worn for protection against health and safety hazards, tourniquets for all patrol officers and firefighter’s turnout gear.

Wednesday was a record-setting day for Holiday Heroes, which partners with the 100 Club to further such efforts. More than $607,000 was raised in the eight hours of the event.

The listeners, partners and sponsors of Arizona Sports stepped up in a remarkable fashion.

Arizona Sports and the 100 Club of Arizona want to give special thanks to NYPD Pizza, Prescott Firefighter Charities, Davidson Family Foundation, Liberty Buick/GMC, APS, Arizona Federal Credit Union, Xtreme Apparel and Earnhardt Ford.

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Holiday Heroes steps up big, raises lots of money