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First responders, gold star families honored in Oro Valley

First Rockin’ for Heroes event kicks off
KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Dec. 11, 2021 at 11:22 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 11, 2021 at 11:29 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “We wanted to find a way to say thank you, we thought a tray of cookies or pizza party wouldn’t suffice,” said Michael Quinn, Organizer of “Rockin’ For Heroes.”

Michael and his wife, Bonnie Quinn, lost their son, PJ, to cancer last year.

“For 6 months prior to his death, he was served by the first responder community,” said Michael Quinn. “They’re just generous kind people.”

They say those first responders made a big difference in PJ’s last few months. Today was their way of saying thank you.

“We’ve all been locked down for almost two years now, these people stayed strong and continued to serve us under all these conditions and were just so grateful to them,” said Michael Quinn.

The family also wanted to honor families that have lost loved one in the line of duty, also known as “gold star families.”

They also honored Jacob Dindinger’s family. Dindinger was killed in mass shooting in Tucson this past summer after multiple first responders were ambushed on the job.

“We were blessed that they were gracious enough to come today,” said Michael Quinn. “We realize they’re still deep in their grief and we’ve bonded with them because of our loss and we’ve been able to help each other.”

Hundreds of community members like Jenny Roland attended as a way of saying thank you.

“The gold star families give so much and this is just one tiny way to say thank you for their sacrifice, it really doesn’t do it justice,” said Jenny Roland, an attendee.

Roland says she knows this time of year can be especially hard for those who have lost loved ones and hopes all the families feel the support.

“In a sense, it gives back a little bit realizing that they’re not alone, that the whole community is standing behind them.”

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