Fundraiser helps fallen heroes - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Fundraiser helps fallen heroes

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

What better way to honor our fallen heroes, than to raise money for their families this holiday season?

The 100 Club of Arizona did just that with their annual radio-thon and charity drive called "Holiday Heroes."

It might seem like a happy occasion as Stephanie Raetz celebrates her birthday.

But the stories behind these smiles are heart-wrenching.

Raetz lost her husband, Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz this past May.

He was hit and killed by an SUV while arresting a drunk driver.

Raetz said, "When I walked into the hospital there was a doctor in the hallway. When I walked in, he grabbed my arm and started walking with me, and he said, "Stephanie your husband has been in an accident, and he was at work and he didn't make it."

Juliann Ashcraft lost her husband Andrew this past June.

He was one of the 19 Granite Mountain Hot Shots who were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Ashcraft said, "They say God won't give you anything you can't handle, but I would argue for a while that that wasn't the case. But I have come to learn through The 100 Club that he doesn't give you anything you can't handle without the people to help you through it."

The 100 Club of Arizona CEO Sharon Knutson Felix says it's an honor to make a difference in the lives of public safety.

Knutson-Felix said, "We take care of the families of public safety that are out there taking care of the community twenty-four-seven."

The benefits are far-reaching.

Hannah Smith-Madeya's dad, Officer Scott Smith was killed by a drunk driver back in 1997.

Many years later, she is a proud 100 Club scholarship winner.

Hannah Smith-Madeya said, "The 100 Club has really helped us out and showed us what the true spirit of giving is."

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All Rights Reserved.

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