Arts and Culture | Local

Exhibit honors new fire foundation

(L-R) Tommy Donahue, Tyler McKendrick, Tucson Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike McKendrick (Sean Stuchen)

A photography exhibit by Tucsonan Sean Stuchen, “Firefighters on Film,” celebrates the creation of the Tucson Fire Foundation.

The foundation, the result of yearlong discussions between community philanthropists and Tucson Fire Department senior staff, will provide funds to bridge the human services gap between the needs of the fire service community and the limits of available funding — now and in the future, says TFD Assistant Chief and Foundation Chair Mike McKendrick. The funds are invested and managed by the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.

The Tucson Fire Foundation also aims to preserve and share the fire department’s history. Its inaugural event, the photography exhibit, will be on display at ART Gallery, 1122 N. Stone Ave., through Sept. 30. Gallery owners Steve and Maxine Murray will host a public reception on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 1 to 6 p.m.

“I have always had a connection with law enforcement and the fire department,” says Stuchen, who explains that his father was a volunteer sheriff in Nogales, so he got to spend time with law enforcement officers and firefighters. Upon hearing of the formation of the Tucson Fire Foundation from community volunteer Patty Vallance, “I instantly knew this was my opportunity to begin to document these brave men and women in action,” says Stuchen. An assistant vice president with Merrill Lynch, Stuchen also joined the foundation’s board of directors.

At the Sept. 12 reception, attendees may sign postcards provided by the fire foundation to send to New York City firefighters who lost colleagues on Sept. 11, 2001.

Proceeds from the sale of photographs will benefit the Tucson Fire Foundation.

The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., or by appointment at (520) 405-5800.

For more information on the Tucson Fire Foundation, visit www.tucsonfirefoundation. org. ­