The 23rd Annual Behind the Flames Scottsdale Fire Fighter Charities Dinner, celebrating the bravery of Scottsdale firefighters and three courageous Valley residents, returns on Sun., Sept. 18.
The three honorees will headline the evening sharing their inspirational and courageous stories. As well, the Scottsdale firefighters will also honor the Scottsdale Firefighter of the year.
The evening is held at STK, located at 7134 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, and starts with a sponsor reception and cocktails, followed by dinner and cocktails, with a special program beginning at 6 p.m.
Kareem Neal will be honored by the Scottsdale Firefighters Association as the first Arizona teacher to be chosen for the National Teachers Hall of Fame. The National Teachers Hall of Fame was founded in 1989 to draw the public’s attention to and celebrate exceptional teachers.
Neal has been a special education teacher at Maryvale High School for 15 years.
He is inspired daily by his students, and they are the reason he comes back every day. As the 2019 recipient of Arizona Teacher of the Year, Neal’s 21 years of teaching do not go unnoticed.
Right to Try advocate and Valley mom Kendra Riley will also be honored during the evening. Riley is an entrepreneur, but more importantly a mother of three. She became a rare disease and healthcare advocate after two of her daughters were diagnosed with metachromatic leukodystrophy. Riley put her life on hold to seek treatment for her youngest child in Milan, Italy. She now speaks at conferences around the globe and volunteers at several non-profits in Arizona. She has fought and pushed for Right to Try legislation and new research for newborn screenings. She’s given parents locally and around the country new hope and a fighting chance when it comes to breakthrough medical advances.
The third honoree of the evening is Shannon Brooks. A star running back for the Arizona Rattlers, Brooks has also become a mental health advocate. Brooks played college football at the University of Minnesota where he became the 12th all-time leading rusher in program history. After suffering the loss of his mother, and other setbacks, the Rattlers player faced strong mental health struggles. Brooks believes that it is important to share his story to inspire others. His inspiration shines bright, and he continues to show his strength on and off the field.
“We are so excited to be honoring Kareem, Kendra, and Shannon at this year’s Scottsdale Firefighters Charities Dinner. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and everything we raise this night will go to help numerous Valley charities during the year. We know the night is going to be special, and we are so appreciative of everyone and the businesses who come out to support us this year,” says Brian Shedlock, of the Scottsdale Fire Fighters Association.
Single tickets are available to purchase for $150. There are several sponsorship levels and there is also the opportunity to sponsor the attendance of a firefighter for $500.
To make a donation and reserve your spot please contact Brian Shedlock at 520-275-4056 or