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MARCH 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 3

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  • Blues
  • Helfman
  • Enforcement
  • Galveston
  • Capitol
  • Dominic
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MARCH 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 3


ALAN HELFMAN An Unconditional Money-Raising Spirit Races Though Alan’s Bloodstream. gut the place and left him and three children at a total loss of their possessions and keepsakes. Insurance covered some but not all of this tremendous loss. Auctioneer Helfman spearheaded an HPOU-sponsored fundraiser, complete with the Union’s Barbecue Team and suddenly Officer Kevin Warren had the necessary funding to begin rebuilding the charred home. Retired Officer Vonda Higgins, left paralyzed when she was shot in 1998 while working undercover narcotics, underwent several painful surgeries and years of rehabilitation. Higgins achieved her independence and was able to drive, only to have somebody steal her special wheelchair-accessible van. It was recovered with substantial damage and deemed unfit for her to operate. Helfman led the charge to raise funds for a new vehicle. Many of the items he auctioned at the Breckenridge Porter Building were pieces of sports memorabilia that helped bring in more than ,000. He donated them! One June a few years back, HPOU and the Assist the Officer Foundation pitched in to raise about ,000 to help retired Senior Police Officer Karen Sampson and her family in Sampson’s determined fight against breast cancer. Again, Helfman was the auctioneer. And then, in January 2013, Helfman, HPOU and ATO set a fundraising record. When totaled, 4,390 was raised for the wife of Officer Hans Wagner and the couple’s two children, ages 7 and 13. Wagner suffered severe head injuries when the family vehicle was broadsided in the summer of 2012. Fortunately, his wife, son and daughter were not seriously hurt. While recovering, Wagner died a few weeks after the accident. The fundraising effort drew unprecedented media attention. Coincidentally, the record-setting Wagner fundraiser was Helfman’s 50th benefitting law enforcement officers or first-responder personnel. Quite simply, this unconditional money-raising spirit throbs throughout the bloodstream inside Alan Helfman. He admits that he’s a salesman who uses his talent making pitches to help officers in need. Selling cars also is in his blood. Helfman owns River Oaks Chrysler Jeep on Kirby Drive just off the Southwest Freeway, a location opened in 1971. His family has been in the car business since his grandfather opened a car lot on Navigation in 1955. His showroom office is easy to find, off in the corner on the north side, his desk positioned under a large photograph of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams (Williams signed it). That and his University of Texas Bachelor of Business Administration diploma (1979) decorate the walls alongside framed declarations of appreciation from, among others, former HPOU President Ray Hunt. “He goes above and beyond on every single fundraiser we do,” Hunt said. “There has never been a time that I’ve called Alan Helfman that he hasn’t delivered. He forms the perfect picture of a person who delivers invaluable service to each and every police officer.” For the record, Helfman now has led hundreds of fundraisers over the last 35 years. Recent years have seen him step up the number. He now averages at least one per month but, when pressed by the Badge & Gun, admits that many months see him do one every week. One might wonder: Why does he do this? Helfman laughed and said he first knew he had an inclination toward becoming an officer while in elementary school when he was selected to be a student crossing guard. “I loved sticking that badge on,” he remembered. “You put the stick down – it had an orange flag at the end. You put it down and the younger kids could cross the street. I kept trying to make good grades to keep the badge.” This badge-and-orange-flag experience happened at Bendwood Elementary School in the Spring Branch Independent School District. Later, while a senior at Memorial High School, Helfman was visiting a neighbor whose dad had just passed away. It was When First Responders in Houston needed PPE Supplies, Alan purchased all the KN95 Masks he could find and gave away 1000-2000 a day. Alan in the dealership with the dozens of awards he’s received over the years. 42 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 43 42 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 43

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