New York Post
December 16, 2001

POIGNANT ADDITIONS AT COP-KIN PARTY

By LARRY CELONA

 
TAIL OF CHRISTMAS:
Benjamin Forster, 6, meets bloodhound Chase at the PBA Christmas party yesterday at the South Street Seaport.
- Helayne Seidman
 

The annual police union party for families of slain officers was full of new faces this year as widows and kids of the Finest lost at the World Trade Center were welcomed with heaps of love and holiday spirit.

"They're very nice to me and my kids. The outpouring of love and support is unbelievable," said Carol D'Allara, whose husband, John, an Emergency Service Unit cop, died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

D'Allara, who brought her two young sons to the party hosted by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, was grateful - but sad, as well.

"This is a group that I never wanted to be a member of," she said. Most of the widows and children of the 23 cops who died trying to save lives at the Twin Towers were at the party.

Some 92 families were cheered by Santa, a clown and face-painters.

For Lori Gunn, whose husband, Detective William Gunn, was shot in 1989 and lingered in a coma for four years, the larger number of attendees was painful.

"It was such a shock to see so many new people and so many more kids," she said. "It makes you think back to when it was your first year coming."

"We can't bring back their loved ones," said PBA president Pat Lynch. "But we're just trying to bring some joy into their lives during this difficult season."

High-profile names - from Mets reliever John Franco to actor Sam Waterston - joined in the event.