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Heroes come in different forms. I have had many in my life and my thoughts on the subject may conjure up some of those you would define as your heroes.

Have to start with my Dad who gave me the unconditional love and support and most of all the confidence to be whatever I wanted to be. As far as those I’ve loved most I would have to now mention my late husband, Danny Frisella who taught me to laugh at just about any situation you could without getting thrown out of anywhere.

He taught me I pretty much could say whatever I wanted and be as honest as I wanted to.....again without getting thrown out of anywhere!! The only thing he couldn't teach me was how to throw that forkball. I still receive emails from fans that call him their hero even though they never met him but he led by example and related to the people in the stands because most often heroes don't have egos.

John Kelly has taught me that material possessions are nothing if it is at the expense of others. John is the closest example of how Jesus led his life. Feed the hungry, clothe the poor and treat others in a way you would like to be treated. I have learned to love someone immediately before they have to prove they deserve it. I have seen in this economic mess that human beings are treating other human beings a little nicer and actually digging a little deeper in their pockets to help. Respect, however, needs to be earned.

Other heroes I see everyday are those in the non-profit world. You know who they are.....Kitty, Michelle, Mary, Sue, Bruce, etc. These are the people who work tirelessly to help our communities serve those in need of help for whatever reason, without judgement of how they arrived in those circumstances. They give of their time, their heart and their non-ending devotion to helping others.

After just celebrating Memorial Day and D-day, I cannot forget the military and that those who represent our country and who are heroes by just saying yes to the commitment to serve. I keep the pages of names and some of the faces of the fallen from our two ongoing wars and say a few names out loud most nights as I say thank you for their sacrifice. I have too many friends back in Michigan who are still not "okay" who served in Vietnam......those are the lost heroes.

Let us learn not to treat our own that way again. Unfortunately, those in our Veteran Administration hospitals and on the mend sometimes carry the lifelong impairments we chose to look away from when walking down the street. We must also acknowledge the nearly 150 in the military who committed suicide either while deployed or back home. Just because the media doesn't remind us everyday on the front page what is happening at war doesn't mean we can't send a prayer their way every day we wake up safe in our own beds.

Then I bring it back to where I am today.....Foster City. I had already decided to write this column about heroes when I attended the Red Cross Heroes breakfast this morning. I had chosen this subject because I wanted to publicly thank the Foster City Police and Fire Departments for their sacrifice and lack of greed in negotiating a new contract with the City.

It not only shows their commitment and their awareness of what is happening in all of our communities but the loyalty and respect they have for our City Council, our City Manager, our staff and mostly our residents. They chose to sacrifice in a monetary way the way they choose every day to sacrifice in their jobs. People say.... Well that is what they get paid to do but I say you cannot pay someone to make sacrifices.

I found out this morning that one of the sponsors of the Red Cross Heroes breakfast was the Foster City Police Officers Association. They chose to donate their hard earned funds to honor seven ordinary San Mateo County residents who became unlikely heroes when desperate situations presented themselves. They all chose to help instead of watch.

Heroes are people who contribute with extraordinary actions, words and deeds. Look around today and be mindful that there are heroes in your community and in your family.......don't look past them. Even if it's with your thoughts, give them a smile and a nod. Believe me, they will receive your sentiments with a smile and a "knowing" connection. Everyone likes to be acknowledged and appreciated.

If you want to share your hero story with me please email me at pfrisella@fostercity.org.

Council Corner

June 17, 2009

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200