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Thread: Toy Joy For Tragic Kids Of Fallen Fire Heroes

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    Toy Joy For Tragic Kids Of Fallen Fire Heroes

    TOY JOY FOR TRAGIC KIDS OF FALLEN FIRE HEROES

    By IKIMULISA SOCKWELL-MASON



    November 25, 2002 -- With big smiles on their faces and toys piled high in their little arms, the children of firefighters killed in the line of duty got a shopping spree at Toys 'R' Us yesterday - as lone parents watched and sometimes wiped tears from their eyes.

    For the nearly 1,000 kids and their mothers, it was a happy day, despite memories of tragic events that caused the deaths of husbands and fathers.

    Yesterday's annual holiday party for the widows and children of New York's Bravest was held for a second year at the Times Square toy store.

    "It's weird that I'm here because of what happened," said Michael Modafferi, 17, as he watched his 12-year-old brother, Joe, admiring a Lego-built Empire State Building.

    "But it's very helpful. My brother was looking forward to this."

    Anna Marie O'Neill's husband, Frank, worked on Ladder Co. 33 and died in July 2000 - long before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But she understood what those widows were feeling.

    "The enormity of that tragedy - you see it on TV, but you can't visualize how many were lost until you see the abundance of children here without fathers," she said.

    Veronica Hynes lost her husband on 9/11, and her three daughters lost their dad - Capt. Walter Hynes of Ladder Co. 13 in Manhattan.

    "I'm very grateful for the opportunity to put smiles on my kids' faces," Hynes said.





    http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/62836.htm

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    FDNY tykes visit toyland

    FDNY tykes visit toyland

    Party in store brings cheer to 9/11 families

    By RALPH R. ORTEGA
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER


    Little Philip Garbarini was caught off guard when Santa Claus came down off a fire truck in Times Square yesterday, ready to take holiday orders from a thousand eager kids.

    "I should have brought my list," said the 4-year-old, who helped welcome jolly old St. Nick for the Fire Department union's Widows' and Children's Holiday Party at Toys "R" Us.

    The event brought the children and wives of fallen firefighters together for an early holiday celebration inside the huge Broadway toy store.

    Gift checks, bikes and bags of toys were given to all of the youngsters and their moms, many of them the families of firefighters lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    "I'm just overwhelmed by the generosity," said Philip's mom, Andrea Garbarini, whose husband, Charles, a Fire Department lieutenant, died with 342 of his brethren when the World Trade Center collapsed.

    Didn't dwell on sadness

    The event for the children ushered in some much-needed cheer for family members of those grieving the Sept. 11 losses - as well as firefighters who died before the attacks.

    "I can't go there," said a tearful Joann Giaccione, who lost her firefighter husband Dennis after a long illness 13 years ago.

    Many of the widows and other relatives, however, didn't dwell on the sadness. Instead, they mingled and joined their children in roaming around the store, which was closed to the general public.

    On hand for the event were comedian Denis Leary and actor John Ventimiglia, who plays Artie Bucco on the HBO series "The Sopranos."

    "I think all the kids here and the adults will remember this for a long time," said Ventimiglia, 39, of Brooklyn, who knew both firefighters and civilians who died in the attacks.

    "This is a great kickoff to the holiday season."


    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/stor...1p-36127c.html


    Fun for Steven Sikorsky, 4, son of fallen firefighter Greg Sikorsky, at Toys "R" Us yesterday.

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    Three-year-old Daniella Giammona snuggles up to Santa Claus, who was a popular guest of the Uniformed Firefighters Widows' and Children's Holiday Party in Manhattan. Daniella's father Vincent was a firefighter at Ladder 5 who lost his life on Sept. 11. (Newsday Photo/Julia Gaines)

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/

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