100 Club receives generous donation for families of HFD firefighters


Help has been pouring in from around the country, and with so many Houstonians stepping up to help, the 100 Club has received yet another incredible donation.

In the face of so much heartache over the last two weeks, the family members of the firefighters, including the children of injured Captain William Dowling, have inspired many.

Capt. Dowling's son Forrest Dowling said, "He's doing phenomenal. He's a fighter, nothing has stopped him before, and this won't be the first thing."

With the Dowling children and other family members watching, the 100 Club of Houston received an extraordinary gift -- $100,000 from the Houston Automobile Dealers Association. "It was in our community, and it was such a terrible disaster," said Wyatt Wainwright, President of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association. "The idea got started in our board and we just said we needed to step up for these families."

The 100 Club, already known for helping families of first responders, in turn made a commitment to the Dowling children.

Richard Hartley said, "The 100 Club unanimously voted to make sure that Forrest, Faith and Foster Dowling all have the opportunity to go college and we'll pick up the tab."

The youngest of the Dowling children says he wants to go to A&M, and while college is still a few years away. He's grateful for the impact the 100 club has already made.

"I think it's great," Foster said. "They've been a big help to us, bringing us food all the time."

The immediate future, like the cause and investigation into the fire, remain unclear.. At least the futures of these children are secure.

Grandmother Mary Frances Dowling said "I'm very excited about it. It's one less thing William and his wife will have to be concerned about, to know that his children are being taken care of."

Captain Dowling still has a long way to go to recovery, but his family members are handling things remarkably well.

One thing the Dowlings say people keep asking is how they can help. There are several ways, from donating blood in Captain Dowling's name, to helping the foster children's charity in which he was involved.

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