Smyrna Heroes Gala Is Sept. 8

‘King Sized’ Mike Grier with Smyrna Police and Fire officers

The City of Smyrna honors its own firefighter, police officer and safety heroes at the 3rd Annual Smyrna Heroes Gala (formerly the Smyrna Auction for Heroes Gala) on Sept. 8.  In a fitting tribute to these heroes, area residents and businesses set aside one evening and come together to honor, remember, and celebrate the men and women who answer our 9-1-1 calls and protect our community 24/7, 365 days a year.

Proceeds benefit the Smyrna Public Safety Foundation (SPSF, a non-profit organization committed to supporting our fire, police and safety heroes and the entire Smyrna community.

Last year, more than 250 people came out in support of Smyrna’s local heroes. The gala, in only its second year, raised over $50,000. With the addition of an outside tent this year, the gala aims to increase attendance and funds raised.

This event offers a unique opportunity to mingle with Smyrna’s fire and police heroes, local businesses and residents, city officials, and Honorary Chair, Smyrna Mayor A Max Bacon. Said Gala Chair, Jim Carter: “No other event in Smyrna currently brings the community together with those that work so tirelessly to protect it. We are proud of this gala and see it turning into one of Smyrna’s premier events.”

The festivities begin at 7 p.m. at Brawner Hall in Taylor-Brawner Park, 3180 Atlanta Road in Smyrna.  Kingsized and Wesley Cook provide live performances. Kingsized, with Big Mike Grier and the Dames Aflame, is one of Atlanta’s hottest dance bands. Opening for Kingsized is Wesley Cook, one of 4 national finalists in Rolling Stones Magazine’s “Street to Stage” competition and one of  Jezebel Magazine’s “2011 Most Eligible Atlantans.”

Guests will dine on a variety of gourmet foods from local restaurants and caterers as well as sip on wine, beer, and specialty themed cocktails.  Hundreds of live and silent auction items are featured, including exotic trips and weekend getaways; jewelry; televisions; golf outings and lessons; theatre and concert tickets; celebrity, sports, film, and rock ‘n roll collectibles and memorabilia; and other enticing items.

This past year marked a particularly trying year in regards to injuries within the Smyrna Police Department, further punctuating the need for programs like the SPSF and fundraising vehicles like the Smyrna Heroes Gala that support it. Three officers were injured on duty, one of which was the highly reported hit and run accident seriously injuring officer Cpl. Gene Crawford.

“Since its inception, the Foundation has been fostering a relationship between the community and public safety,” said Officer Mike Smith of the Smyrna Police Department. “I don’t care how rough and tumble cops and firefighters think they are, in those critical moments, whether standing a post or going through a door not knowing what waits you on the other side, it’s comforting to know that someone has your back.  Out there on the street when it goes south, and it will at some point in your career, go south, it’s great to know someone will be there to help.  Unfortunately, the city does not always have the means to fully assist officers or firefighters severely injured on the job.  More often than not, when we get hurt on the job it’s severe.  The Gala and the Benevolent Fund give the Foundation tools to help bridge that gap.  I can’t thank them enough for their continued generosity and support.”

Learn more about our local heroes by visiting the  “Meet Our Heroes” profiles on the Gala’s website So support our heroes by purchasing your tickets, putting on your dancing shoes, and coming to the Gala prepared to have an exciting time.

From the August 2012 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.