When Blue Goes Green

Brothers Before Others.

To those looking to defame law enforcement and this charity, our name often serves as the proverbial low hanging fruit. “See! All those cops care about are themselves and they think they are better than us”. When, in reality, a few minutes spent researching this charity and the work that has been done since 2014 would tell you everything you need to know. (Ret) Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has always said that no one cares for their community more than the American police officer. What you are about to read is yet another example of how like minded individuals can make magic happen.

No child should ever have to spend their 18th birthday contemplating their own mortality. However, for Carteret High School student Aiden Ramirez, that is his reality. Already having traveled a hard road, Aiden is now battling an aggressive form of cancer and was told by doctors that he has mere months to live. His nurse, Rose Robateau, widow of Jersey City Police Department Lieutenant Christopher Robateau, knows all too well the reach and care that our charity has. So, when it was time to make this birthday one for the ages, Rose knew just where to go.

As it turns out, Aiden is loyal Boston Celtics fan, especially when it comes to his favorite player: Jayson Tatum. It was Aiden’s dream to attend a Boston Celtics game. In less than 48hrs prior to Game 1 of the NBA playoffs, with the invaluable help of Boston Police Officer/Brothers Before Others Trustee Lance Norwood and Jersey City Police Sergeant Cynthia Schultz, Brothers Before Others was able to facilitate a one-of-kind weekend for Aiden.

When the Celtics organization heard about Aiden, his story and his dream, they immediately agreed to roll out the red, er green, carpet for him. In their words: “There are a number of things we can do to ensure that Aiden has an unbelievable time”.

With that hurdle out of the way, the only trick was how to get Aiden and his ‘team’ up to Boston. That is where Joe Hernandez and NJ Express Car Service stepped up. At a deeply discounted price in the name of charity and on, at this point, 24hrs notice, Joe arranged for Aiden, his grandmother, his brother, his nurse and his principal to be driven up to Boston. Their driver remained with them for the duration and was at their disposal for whatever travel was necessary while in Beantown.

Once in Boston, Aiden was granted unprecedented access to the Celtics team, even being able to be on the court taking rebounds with them as they practiced. He was given Celtics swag and, of course, some of the best seats in the house. Most importantly, he was able to meet the players, especially his favorite.

Brothers Before Others Founder/President Michael J. Burke had this to say: “As a retired NYPD Police Officer and life long Knicks fan, the idea of anything Celtics is maddening. I only like one thing from Boston: Dave Portnoy. Ok, two things. I am big fan of the cream donut too. That said, the way that the Boston Celtics organization came together with our charity in such short notice is nothing short of amazing. It was humbling to see all the moving parts and individuals who came together to make this weekend happen. In charity, much like pizza, you only get one bite so it’s important that you get it right the first time. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but ‘Go Celtics!’ and here’s hoping they wipe up that fancy flooring with the Warriors”.

Aiden’s principal, Dr. Karen D. Jones, wrote:

“I am writing this letter to express my immense thankfulness for your benevolence. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your quick response and willingness to put things in motion for a memorable weekend in Boston for Aiden Ramirez. Your contribution and generosity is invaluable.

Words can not express my gratitude for you and the others that played a crucial role in making arrangements for Aiden Ramirez, who is battling an aggressive cancer, to enjoy a weekend with the Boston Celtics. Because of  your in-kindness, Aiden, his grandmother and brother were able to spend a weekend in Boston and not only affording him the opportunity to attend an important Boston Celtics Round 1 playoff game but to meet his favorite basketball player, Jayson Tatum, and the opportunity to rebound with the Boston Celtics basketball team.

Thank you for making such an impact in his life and tackling a magnanimous feat in 2 days. You made a dream come true for him and for that, you are deeply appreciated. From the comfortable round trip transportation, impeccable hotel accommodations, and unbelievable Celtics experience, Aiden, his family and I are forever grateful. This weekend would not have happened without all of your tireless efforts.’


What started out as a last minute inquiry by a member of ours turned out to be more than anyone could have expected. What was accomplished here is affirmation of the sentiments expressed by Sheriff Clarke. However, it will never get old seeing that selfless work in motion.

Please continue to pray for Aiden and his family. May God grant them strength and calm in the face of this struggle.


*Generously Sponsored by Hawthorne Chevrolet.*

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