Columbia Association New York City Fire Department Dinner Dance

Our 82nd Annual
Scholarship Dinner Dance
will be held
September 8, 2016

Cocktails 7 pm

Presentations 9 pm

Dinner and Dancing to follow


Russo’s on the Bay,
162-45 Cross Bay Blvd.
Howard Beach section of Queens

As always, your support in making this special affair a success
is deeply appreciated.

Enrico Boletti
Dance Chairman

Contact Enrico Boletti for more info

Hotel information available upon request.

2016 Person of the Year

Chief James P. Booth
Chief of EMS

Chief Booth, a 33-year veteran was appointed Chief of EMS on January 21, 2015. He supervises 3,700 EMTs, Paramedics, EMS Officers and civilian employees in the EMS Bureau, and is responsible for overseeing operations, planning, strategic initiatives and logistics.

Chief Booth was appointed as an EMT for New York City in 1983 and initially assigned to the Yorkville Station in Manhattan. In 1988, he became a paramedic and was assigned to the EMS Station at Jacobi Hospital. In 1992, he was promoted to Lieutenant, serving out of the Lincoln Hospital EMS Station before joining the Emergency Response Squad (ERS) – now the Hazardous materials and Tactical Patrol Unit, or HazTac. Promoted to Captain in 1997, he was assigned to the Bronx and served first in Williamsbridge and then in Morris Park. After promotion to Deputy Chief in 2003, James Booth served in Brooklyn and the South Bronx. He was promoted to Division Commander in 2006 where he served in Staten Island and The Bronx before joining the Staff of EMS Operations. Chief Booth worked on several major technology and equipment projects, including the multiple-casualty incident patient tracking system; the roll-out of a new Handie-Talkie radio communications program; institution of EMS post command radios; and improving Fire-EMS radio interoperability.

Chief Booth responded to the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. He served as part of the response team that was deployed to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and has also participated in FDNY missions to the Dominican Republic following Hurricane George and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Chief Booth studied Emergency Management at the John Jay College of the City University of New York, and graduated from the FDNY Fire Officers Management Institute (FOMI), as well as FDNY’s Advanced Leadership Course. A native of the Bronx, Chief Booth lives in City Island with his wife, Wendy.

Our “Presidents Award” will be presented to
Lee Ielpi 

Lee Ielpi is a native of Great Neck, NY where he resides today with his family. Lee is a father of two girls and two boys. Both sons are firefighters with the FDNY. Lee became a volunteer with his local Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department in 1963 where he rose through the ranks to become Chief of the Department. Lee continues to serve as an active member of the Vigilant Fire Department.

In 1968, Lee was drafted and served in the US Army in Vietnam. While serving, he volunteered to be deployed under the Reconnaissance Unit with the Second of the 28 Infantry, First Infantry Division. While serving for his country, Lee earned a Bronze Star for Valor and two ARCOM medals for Valor in addition to being decorated with a Combat Infantry Man's Badge and Air Medals. Lee's first child was born while he was serving in Vietnam in 1970.Lee Ielpi joined the New York City Fire Department in September 1970.

As a probationary firefighter he was trained during one of the busiest periods of firefighting in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY. Lee was selected to serve as a member of the elite Special Operations Company, Rescue 2 in 1977. Rescue companies of the FDNY serve to operate at all working fires within their borough, any type of rescue operation, hazardous materials and scuba operation. These companies assist with all rescue equipment for any type of extrication. While serving in the FDNY, Lee Ielpi was awarded twenty-four recognition's of exemplary service ranging from Class 3 metals to Unit Citations from his Rescue Company. The awards included three of the prestigious Class 3 Rescue medals awarded on separate occasions by New York City and the firefighters who witnessed the hazardous conditions under which the rescues were performed. Lee also received a Class B ribbon of honor for service beyond duty.

On September 11, 2001, Lee arrived at the World Trade Center within a half hour of the second collapse and assisted to organize operations until midnight of that evening. Lee returned to Ground Zero daily to assist organization of the rescue operations. Upon the third week, the rescue operations were reclassified by the City of New York as a recovery operation. As is tradition within the FDNY, Lee worked hands on daily for nine months to bring home all that were lost, including his son Jonathan Ielpi, FDNY Squad 288. 

Our “Humanitarian Award” will be presented to
Ray Pfiefer

Ray Pfeifer, a 27 years 220 day and 9 hours veteran appointed on February 17, 1987. He was assigned to Engine 40 (The Cavemen) on Manhattan's Westside. Ray responded to the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. He served as part of the response team that was deployed to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. In 2009, Ray was unexpectedly diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer from his many months spent at the site of the World Trade Center. Ray was an advocate with a team that helped work down in Washington D.C. and met with elected congressional members to speak of his own 9/11 experiences and the need for long term health coverage and studies. On December 18, 2015, the President signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The Zadroga Act provides continued funding for health care programs treating those affected by the 9/11 events. It also reopens the Victims Compensation Fund for those who suffered physical injuries or death as a result of the events of 9/11 and its aftermath. Ray has since received the Key to New York City, The key to his home County of Nassau as well as most recently participating as the FDNY representative as the grand marshal of the 2016 St. Patrick's Day parade. He is married 28 years to his wife Caryn and his son Terence (now FDNY EMT Battalion 54) and daughter Taylor.