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BBQ a Moment to Remember for One Extra-Appreciative Downtowner

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Sunday, October 05, 2008, at 01:48PM
in memory Ed Fuentes

Robyn Vallejos at the The 9th Annual Public Safety Appreciation Barbecue.

Balancing her lunch on a paper plate, Robyn Vallejos slowly maneuvered past tables filled with Downtown's uniformed officers, workers, and residents eating prime rib sandwiches, pasta, and salad at Ernst & Young Plaza. Finding a spot off to the side on the concrete bench that lines the grass, she sat and had lunch while listening to the band playing classic rock and city dignitaries making speeches.

After the speeches and the check ceremony were done, Vallejos walked over to the mounted display board listing those who donated to the 9th Annual Public Safety Appreciation Barbecue. She looked for a name, found it, smiled, and left to go back to work.

Vallejos herself, who lives and works Downtown, donated to the day's event that raised $5,000 for the Los Angeles Firemen's Relief Association. The name she was looking for was Jasper, her father who passed away four years ago to the day from an accident with a drunk driver.

“I wanted to do something in his memory,” said Vallejos, who made the donation in his name. She found spending the lunch hour surrounded by those who wanted to appreciate the work of officers was, in her words, comforting.

She sat by herself, but she didn’t dine alone.


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