SANTA ANA – Joe Windham choked up a bit when recalling the day a firefighter burst into his home as his three-year-old son, Joey, gasped for air. Joey had bitten off the tail of a rubber alligator and began choking. “It was a total blockage,” his dad remembered.
Windham and his wife managed to fish out the tail before paramedics arrived, but Joey was still in pain and his breathing labored when that firefighter showed up. “The Fire Department and everybody was rolling ... and the first thing that came through the door was a fireman with a teddy bear,” Windham said. “It actually calmed him right down.”
That was 27 years ago. Joey Windham, now 30, still has that bear and his dad is CEO of the LA KISS arena football team based at Honda Center in Anaheim.
In July, team collected 300 teddy bears from fans during First Responders Night in July. On Wednesday, the bears were handed over to the Santa Ana Police Department, this year’s chosen agency, so officers have them for traumatic situations.
Windham has done these events over the years, for whatever team he is working for. He said this will be an annual event for the LA KISS.
“Having something like a stuffed animal to give to the children brings a calming effect to the situation,” Chief Carlos Rojas said.
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ABOUT LA KISS FOOTBALL:
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, two of the greatest showmen of all time, brought pro football to Los Angeles with the formation of LA KISS Football. Now in their third year, LA KISS has become a phenomenon by taking the KISS mentality and applying it to a sports team. LA KISS represents the fusion of entertainment and sports like no other brand and delivers an all-encompassing in-game experience that is second to none. LA KISS ownership combines over 40 years of success in both entertainment, sports and business. The leadership team looks to challenge and redefine the term “sports entertainment” by applying the KISS mindset to everything they do. For more information, visit lakissfootball.com or follow the team on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
For more information about the LA KISS Football organization please visit LAKISSFootball.com or call 714-462-KISS (5477). Also be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@LAKISS_AFL), Instagram (lakissfootball) and Facebook (/lakissfootball).