New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund
|Motto||Answer the Call|
|Founders||Rusty Staub, J. Patrick "Paddy" Burns|
|New York City|
|Stephen J. Dannhauser|
|Philip V. Moyles Jr.|
|US $2.5 million (2015)|
|Mission||To support the families of New York City's fallen first responders|
The New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the families of New York City's first responders who have been killed in the line of duty. Through lifelong financial assistance, special gatherings, and a network of support, the fund has reassured that the sacrifice made by their loved ones is never forgotten.
The Fund was created in 1985, by former New York Mets player Rusty Staub and J. Patrick "Paddy" Burns, then-Vice President of the New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. Staub was inspired to create the fund after reading a news story about a New York City Police officer killed the line of duty. When Rusty was a boy, his uncle Marvin Morton was also killed in the line of duty as a New Orleans police officer, leaving behind a wife and young children. Speaking about the loss, Staub remembered "How difficult it was for my uncle's family,I remember saying the rosary on the bed with my mom. That was the first time I saw her cry." Staub determined to help this officer's family, and other families who had lost a loved one in answering the call.
In its initial years, the organization hosted an annual gala, where widows and donors came together to support one another and raise funds for the cause. In addition, families would enjoy for a picnic at Shea Stadium, where children would throw out the first pitch and beneficiaries connected with the approximately six to eight new families who had lost a loved one that year. Prior to September 11, 2001, the fund had raised $13 million in its then-16 year history, supporting approximately 500 families.
September 11th Terrorist Attacks
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center resulted in the loss of 2,606 lives, including 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers. At the time, families received a $10,000 death benefit from the charity. Three hundred and fifty families first-responder families now represented an immediate need for $4 million dollars, but in the weeks that followed, this need was met and exceeded. In the months following the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, the fund was able to give over $117 million to its beneficiaries.
The Fund continues to support the families of those lost before, during, and after 9/11, providing annual financial assistance to the families of fallen NYPD and FDNY Officers and Firefighters, Emergency Medical Services and Port Authority Police Officers.
The Fund is an independent 501(c)(3) charity and does not receive any federal, state or city dollars but relies exclusively on private donations. Rusty Staub is the founder and chairman emeritus of the board. Additional board officers are:
- Stephen J. Dannhauser (Chair)
- Philip V. Moyles Jr. (President)
- Kevin E. Parker (Vice Chair)
- Lawrence M.v.D. Schloss (Vice Chair)
- Mark Douglas Messier (Vice President, Community Affairs)
- John Neary (Treasurer)
- John Nolan (Assistant Tresurer)
- Brian A. Waldbaum (Secretary)
The Board of Directors of the NYPFWC Benefit Fund includes Michael J. Aiello, William J. Begley, Kyle N. Cruz, William F. Dawson Jr., John Q. Doyle, Martin J. Geller, J. Kevin Gilgan, Meryl D. Hartzband, John W. Keogh, Stephen J. Ketchem, Edward J. Munshower, James A. Quella, Thomas M. Rooney, Marc Rosenbaum, A. Andrew Shapiro, Edward Skyker, Steven Stuart, Howard Weiser, and Peter Zaffino.
In 2013, a Junior Committee was created, allowing young professionals to volunteer their time and effort to support the cause. Individuals from the New York area assist with planning and execution for the annual gala and annual baseball game, and raise funds at a summer kickoff event.
- "Mission and Vision | Answer the Call". Answer the Call. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- LLP, Weil, Gotshal & Manges. "New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund to Honor Stone Point Capital CEO Charles Davis and NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier At 23rd Annual Benefit Gala". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- "New Orleanian Rusty Staub became important figure in response to 9/11". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- "USATODAY.com - Ex-Met Staub works for families of fallen". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- Wolff, Craig (1989-11-16). "3 Officers' Deaths Turn Charity Event Somber". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- "Press Release Archives #153-98 - Police & Fire Widows & Children's Benefit Fund Reception". www.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- "BASEBALL; Staub Leading Drive for Fund". The New York Times. 2001-09-21. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- "Board | Answer the Call". Answer the Call. Retrieved 2016-10-12.