Retired Tucson Fire Department Assistant Chief Michael “Mike” McKendrick was inducted into the Arizona Fire Service Hall of Fame on Sept. 9. Mike worked for Tucson Fire for more than 30 years and, upon retirement, founded the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation (GTFF).
The GTFF provides firefighters with health and wellness services in the areas of cardiac health & fitness, cancer awareness and prevention, and mental health and wellness.
Several prominent members of the Southern Arizona Jewish community have been proponents of the GTFF, including Patty Valance z’’l. Patty worked closely with Mike to create and grow the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona (JCF). In founding this endowment, Patty, Mike, and the Board of Trustees resolved to ensure that the important work of GTFF would be supported in perpetuity. JCF is honored and proud to partner with the GTFF to meet their goals, now and in the future.
GTFF’s fundraising creativity continues to reach into the Jewish and broader community. In one example, a local teen named Noah Lytle, whose father is a fire fighter, has chosen the GTFF for his Bar Mitzvah service project.
Mike and Patty also served as the inspiration behind the Firefighters Beyond Borders Program.