The longtime chairman of the Hundred Club of Mass. announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from the charity that supports the families of police and firefighters killed on the job.
Norman Knight, 92, has been at the helm of the club since 1959, when he cofounded the organization. He described his 56-year tenure as “one of the greatest honors of my life.”
“Firefighters and police officers take an oath to protect the public they serve at all costs,” Knight said in a statement. “When the unthinkable happens to firefighters and police officers is when the Hundred Club is there to help.”
John T. Lynch, a Boston attorney who has been on the club’s board of directors and its legal counsel for 30 years, will take over as chairman.
Lynch, a managing director at the downtown firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, said that many of Knight’s contributions are unseen. “He always does the right thing, and he’s a generous, generous man,” Lynch said.
Although public benefits are available for survivors, the club strives to ensure that their needs are covered.
“They stay with the families,” said Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn.
He recalled the Hundred Club’s contribution of Christmas presents during the holiday season, and the donation of Red Sox tickets in the summer.
Like Knight, a retired broadcasting executive who is known to avoid the spotlight in his philanthropic efforts, the group operates without much fanfare.
“They don’t tell you what they’re doing or how much they’re doing, but they’re doing a lot,” Finn said.Andy Rosen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.