Hero of the Month

The Firefighters for Healing Hero of the Month for October is Firefighter Ryan Wolcenski from Elk River.Very fitting since October is Fire Prevention Month in the state of Minnesota.

Chad Kreuser nominated Ryan for this recognition because it is an honor to call him a friend and to serve with him. When Chad was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 2002 he was put on alert that he would eventually need a kidney transplant. Chad’s siblings were tested for eligibility to donate. In December 2018 Chad’s friend Ryan didn’t hesitate to volunteer to be tested. As he does on the job, he stepped in to help and it turns out he was the perfect match.

Recognition from Vikings Women

Vikings 100.jpg
black FFFH logo 860 dpi.jpg
Vikings Women.jpg

In honor of the NFL’s 100th Anniversary, the Minnesota Vikings asked for nomination to compile a list of 100 Vikings Women for the incredible things they do. Please join us in congratulating Angie, Lindsey and Paula.


Angie is modeling for her daughters what it means to be a true leader, a successful entrepreneur and a fierce and loyal volunteer. As her daughters’ softball coach for over 4 years, Angie has seen them reach state & national championship games and LOVES sharing the thrill of competition. Each season she takes a special interest in the girls that may benefit from additional coaching. Angie’s daughters also play traveling hockey and soccer so this mom is on FIRE!! Which brings us to Angie’s passion to volunteer as the Red Tie Gala Co-Chair with Firefighters For Healing. Angie’s leadership skills, business savvy and ability to maximize each hour of every day have been instrumental in the growth of Firefighters for Healing as we serve more and more burn survivors, firefighters and families after burn trauma or a medical diagnosis. Angie’s fulltime work is leading O'Hara and Hunter Consulting where she has been for 16 years and has been a co-owner of the company since 2010. Believing in female empowerment, the team of employees is predominantly female. O'Hara and Hunter helps their clients at their most vulnerable time after a work related injury. They work together to get people back to work safely or when injuries will not allow, direct them to retrain for a new career path. Every single day this woman is a hero to her clients, her family and her community. Every single day. Angie has been a Vikings fan her entire life and has been a season ticket holder for over 10 years. She enjoys games as she has an uncanny ability to juggle all of these activities and still be actively engaged with family and friends. Angie commands the attention of a room without saying a word and has the natural ability to immediately engage people.


lindsey larson.jpg

We nominated Lindsey because she is ALL in you guys! She strives to educate, engage and empower her daughter Ruby who attended her first Vikings football game at three months old. She was an angel. Now as a one year old, they started a tradition of attending Vikings Training Camp. Ruby was mesmerized! Lindsey and her daughter live life out loud together. Sundays are church and football in their home because Lindsey has fond memories of growing up and spending time with her dad. Lindsey deserves this nomination because she gives her time, attention and LOVE to her clients, her friends with special needs, and her community. As a single mom, when Lindsey is not working as a Registered Massage therapist, she makes the time to volunteer for Chad Greenway’s Lead The Way Foundation, Firefighters for Healing, Sanford Hospital’s NICU, Gillette Children’s Hospital, Wiggle your Toes, GiGis Playhouse, Life Rolls On and more! She has endless amounts of energy because she is refueled by positively impacting her community and people in real need. Her smile lights up the room and her heart welcomes you into her world. Lindsey is a fierce and loyal Viking Woman.



Paula has been a Vikings fan for 12 years cheering alongside her husband and sons. On any given Sunday during football season, Paula has served up snacks in a football shaped dish, dressed the dog in purple & gold and donned her Vikings swag. There may also be football shaped confetti on important game days. In any given week, Paula can be found hosting a YoungLife meeting for teens, attending a Firefighters for Healing board meeting and chairing a TreeHouse Women of Hope committee meeting all while being a MomTaxi and freelance writer. In the past year, Paula has been caring for her mom who was diagnosed with kidney failure. Traveling to Toronto or advocating for her care over the phone has been a challenge but faith and hope have gotten them through tough days. When kidney dialysis started Paula’s mom nicknamed it her “gym time” because she is motivated to get healthy and beat this! Paula attributes that positivity to the encouragement, photos, inspiration and memories she shared with her mom after attending Vikings Women fitness events. Both mother and daughter are known for taking care of everyone else, but this year they learned the important lesson to take care of themselves. We are anxiously awaiting a transplant before year end. Life is a game. She plays it with her heart and leaves it all on the field.


Recognition at GIVE16 Honors

Firefighters for Healing Founder Jake LaFerriere was named one of the first GIVE16 Award Recipients at an event on August 28, 2019. The gathering organized by Jason and Carly Zucker and sponsored by 3M Open was an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate 16 individuals, organizations, teams or nonprofits who are making a clear and measurable impact, investing time and resources and inspiring others.