NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A charity that helps the widows and children of fallen police officers and firefighters held its annual benefit Thursday night.

The New York Police and Fire Widows and Children Benefit Fund event took place just days after NYPD officer Randolph Holder was fatally shot in the line of duty in East Harlem.

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“It’s a very tough moment in this city. People of this city are in mourning,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who added that supporting the charity fund is critical.

Shirley Johnson agrees. Her firefighter husband, Joseph, was killed in 1973. She still receives a payment every year.

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“It completes your year to pay off your bills, if it’s possible,” she said.

The fund was started by former Mets star Rusty Staub.

“The fact that we don’t forget their loss, means as much to them and their families as the money, I’m telling you,” Staub said.

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Over the past 30 years, the fund has distributed more than $130 million to the families of fallen police and firefighters.