Dear Master Tiger Schulmann,
My name is Great Helmke, I started training at Tiger Schulmann’s in Islandia, NY last June. My two children, Garrett and Amelia also train in Islandia. We are all very proud to have recently earned our high blue belts. I am the widow of PO Robert B. Helmke NYPD who lost his life in the line of duty in July 2007 after he lost his battle with cancer, which he got as a result of working endless hours at Ground Zero. My husband was honored posthumously with the Distinguished Service Medal, NY State Shields Medal of Honor and his name on The Empire State Plaza, Battery Park and NYPD Police Headquarters Memorial Wall. I am also the Vice President of The 9/11 Responders Remembered Park Committee. We are very happy to announce the opening of the first park honoring all of the first responders that have died since 9/11 in Nesconset, NY in September 2011.
The reason that I started training at Tiger Schulmann’s is because I was inspired by my friend and also a 9/11 NYPD first responder’s widow, Tracy Zane. The reason I continued to train there was self motivation and hands down the amazing instructor Joshu George Heurtelou. Joshu Heurtelou is a gifted instructor, motivator and supporter for me, my children and anyone who is lucky enough to train with him. I was very disappointed when he was moved to the Nanuet, NY Tiger Schulmann’s, but understood the need for him to be moved there. A great teacher is someone who leaves you with great skills and Joshu did that. I told Joshu every time I am on the mat, I remember his words of motivation and push to always do my best. I do hope that he is moved back to Long Island someday, so that he can continue to inspire and motivate students like myself and be closer to his family and support system.
I have the pleasure of notifying you that I created an Annual Scholarship Fund for the next 5 years to a well deserving Islandia student in honor of mine and Tracy’s husbands. Sensei Bonet was a great help in working with me to carefully select the student to receive the 1st annual unlimited program scholarship. The scholarship will always go to a student who trains hard and who we want to motivate to stand tall and proud in spite of any hardships in their personal lives. I would like the tragedy that has touched mine and Tracy’s lives turn into a gift to others in their memories and because of two great teachers, Sensei Bonet and Joshu Heurtelou.