ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For multiple nights in December, police cars, fire trucks, and emergency vehicles from departments across the region, some as far away as Sodus and the southern tier brightened up the night with lights for youngsters at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Lieutenant Richard Waldo and Officer Jason Blanchard with the Rochester Police Department said it was a chance to bring the youngsters some joy around the holidays
“We get just as much out of it as the families do who are enjoying the moment,” says Blanchard.
This was started by Waldo and Blanchard in 2018, and has since been a favorite among patients and families. Getting participants involved they said, easier than you might think.
“The fire department and police response was overwhelming,” says Waldo.
“The people we’ve worked with over there have been fantastic. It’s been a collaborative effort,” says Blanchard.
Even with all they do on the force serving the public, both men say this is an opportunity to give just a little bit back and help to bring a smile to the children inside.
“To do this for (Strong Memorial Hospital), as Jason said, it’s the highlight of my career among other things,” says Waldo.
The sponsor of First Responders Spotlight, Bill Gray’s, honored the two with their thanks for this effort, and their 20 years each on the force. For Waldo and Blanchard, they say their service is always about helping the community, on or off duty.
“This is all about the families and the patients dealing with this…being in the hospital during the holiday season,” says Blanchard.
“When we look up at the kids, it’s amazing. And everything that’s happened on the outside, it all goes away,” Waldo.