Delaware fallen heroes fund to support children

    A scholarship fund has been set up to support the children of Delaware’s first responders, after two Wilmington firefighters were killed Saturday.

    The Ellen and Alan Levin Family Foundation started the fund off with $100,000, at the Delaware Community Foundation. 

    The Delaware Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships to the children and stepchildren, through the age of 25, of Delaware’s firefighters, police officers and EMTs killed or fully disabled in the line of duty on or after Jan. 1, 2016.

    “Ellen and I were moved by the deaths of Wilmington firefighters Lt. Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes, as well as their injured colleagues,” said Alan Levin, former director of the Delaware Economic Development Office.

    Leach and Fickes were killed Saturday after the first floor of a burning Wilmington rowhome collapsed, trapping some of the firefighters in the basement. Two others remain hospitalized.

    “We hope this fund will serve as a way for all of us to help care for the children these and other first responders leave behind. It is our hope that companies and others in Delaware will support the fund, which supports those who do so much for all of us,” Levin said.

    Each year, a committee will evaluate the pool of applicants and award scholarships to those deemed eligible.

    “We are extremely pleased to partner with the Levin Foundation on this fund,” DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay said. “Their generosity in addressing this important issue is inspirational, and a model of what philanthropy can do for those in need.”

    Meanwhile, officials have said the two injured Wilmington firefighters are continuing to show signs of progress.

    Wilmington Battalion Chief James Jobes said Brad Speakman was upgraded to stable condition yesterday and is able to walk down the hallway at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. Jobes said Ardythe Hope remains in critical, but stable condition.

    A joint memorial service, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.

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