Heidi Behr memorial dinner to honor Det. Brian Simonsen

NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen will be honored posthumously by Heidi’s Helping Angels at the nonprofit’s tenth annual scholarship dinner Thursday, Oct. 17. 

Thousands mourned the life of Det. Simonsen after he was tragically killed by friendly fire during a robbery in Queens Feb. 12. Det. Simonsen, nicknamed “Smiles,” left behind his wife, Leanne, his mother, Linda, and his grandfather, Vern.

Board of directors president Ronald Schmitt, 82, said that every year Heidi’s Helping Angels aims to honor a person or organization that has benefitted Riverhead.

“We tried to pick somebody that did something good for the town and greater community, just like Heidi did,” he said.

The organization was founded in 2009 by former town supervisor Jim Stark in honor of Heidi Behr, a volunteer EMT with the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps, who was killed on the job in May 2005 in Aquebogue, Mr. Schmitt said.

Since its founding, the nonprofit has hosted a banquet dinner each year and collectively raised just over a hundred thousand dollars for graduating high school seniors in Riverhead, Mr. Schmitt said.

The amount of students who receive scholarships is dependent on the amount of money raised at the dinner, he said. In the past, the organization has distributed eight $2,000 scholarships per year.

The event will again be held at Polish Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $37 per person in advance and it includes a roast beef dinner. Only 300 tickets will be sold.

For additional information or to make a donation, contact Mr. Schmitt at 631-722-4944.

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