More than 400 people turned out Friday night to Columbus Gardens in Perry Hall for a benefit for the family of fallen firefighter .
Unlike the larger benefit held in May at the Towson Center, this gathering was mainly family, friends and others who personally knew Falkenhan, a Middle River native and Lutherville volunteer firefighter who died Jan. 19 while battling an apartment blaze.
Falkenhan, who also spent 16 years at a firefighter/paramedic in the Baltimore County Fire Department before leaving for a job in the U.S. Secret Service, was the first in the county to die in the line of duty since 1984.
Katie Haines, Falkenhan's cousin, was among the key organizers of Friday's event, Money raised from the event will go toward a fund set up by the Baltimore County Fallen Firefighters Association for the Falkenhan family, which includes his widow, Gladys, and his sons Christian and Garrett.
At the event, a bull roast that featured live music, there was also a silent auction which included autographed memorabilia featuring items signs by Ravens, Orioles and even Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts like Art Donovan and Lenny Moore. There was also a portrait of Falkenhan unveiled that was also off at the event.
Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Brandon McKinney, along with super fan Captain Defense, also took pictures and signed autographs for fans in attendance.
“We just wanted to do something as a family to show how much Mark meant to us and how much we love Gladys and the boys,” Haines said recently. “This event has really turned into a celebration of Mark’s life by those that knew him best.”