Travis Hall 9th Annual Dinner Honors First Responders on 9/11
On September 11, Travis Hall, 13, and his family, served dinner to over 150 first responders at the Leyden Fire Protection District Station, 2600 Manheim Road in Franklin Park, for the ninth year in a row. Serving those who served, included fire, police, and sheriffs from the surrounding suburbs: Leyden, Northlake, Elmhurst, Schiller Park, Franklin Park and Chicago. "I want to take care of those today who do so much to keep us safe," Hall said.
The tradition began nine years ago after learning about the tragedy on 9/11 at his preschool. Later, inspire by his father Scott's further explanation, Travis asked, "Do I have enough money in my piggy bank to help?" He used those monies to purchase two pizzas and feed one shift at the Leyden firehouse. The second year, Travis and family fed first responders at both the Leyden and Northlake stations. "We are just following his lead," said Scott, who is a Cook County Sherriff, "He makes me very proud." "I am trying to turn a very bad thing, into a good thing," Travis said. Leyden Fire Chief Kory Ryan said, "While tonight we represent different areas and different services, Travis brings us all together as one family."
For his 10th annual service dinner, Travis plans to travel to New York with his family and serve the first responders near ground zero. "When your child has an idea for a good cause, no matter how big or small, stand behind them," said Hall's mother Sue. They also traveled as a family to bring 968 cases of water to the first responders in the 2014 Flint Michigan water crisis.
Hall is home schooled by his mother and is interested in video games, riding his dirt bike, and spending time with his family. He is thinking about a career as a paramedic, a politician, a job in law enforcement, or joining the military. "He is my hero," Sue said.
This year sponsors include: Olive Garden, Hooters, Chick-fil-A in Elmhurst, Cochairos Pizza, Mama Maria's Pizza in Bensenville, Dairy Queen of Northbrook, Bacci in Schiller Park, Ozzie's Deli in Melrose Park, Diana's Bananas in Chicago, Johnny and Tony's Italian Beef and Pizzeria in Elmhurst, Arizona Iced Tea, and AmpliVox Portable sound System in Northbrook who donated a sound system. "Now, I can play music, and help people have a good time at dinner," Hall said. "I want everyone to remember those alive today, whom we sometimes forget," he said.