The Simi Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10049 and its Ladies Auxiliary will honor standout law enforcement officers and firefighters from Ventura and Los Angeles counties while they collect toys for needy children at an all-day benefit Saturday.
The event will be held outside the post at 4242 E. Los Angeles Ave. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., said Dick Hlebasko, program coordinator and a post member. Attendees are urged to contribute a toy as admission to the gathering, which will feature food booths, games, live entertainment and the award ceremonies.
Hlebasko said the post membership devised the dual-purpose gathering as a way to honor officers and firefighters and benefit the community though the toy donations.
Slated to attend and receive awards are Mike Aranda, a senior deputy sheriff with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department; Thomas Retan, a Ventura County firefighter; Gene Hostetler, a Simi Valley police detective; Los Angeles County Firefighter Scott Miller, who was seriously injured in the line of duty during the Los Angeles riots, and Martin Bertsch, a Los Angeles police officer.
Los Angeles Sheriff Sherman Block will also be honored, but cannot attend, Hlebasko said.
Honorees will receive a plaque and certificate of appreciation from the post in recognition of their efforts to protect the public, he said.