Toy drive in memory of Staten Island police officer who died in hurricane

By Deborah Young Staten Island Advance

A toy drive in memory of Police Officer Arthur Kasprazk seeks to bring joy and sense of normalcy to the thousands of Staten Island children affected by Sandy.

Kasprazk, 28, a loving uncle, with a winning smile was dedicated to the New York Police Department, and during his six-year career earned praise for his professionalism, heroism and enthusiasm for the job.

He was killed by Hurricane Sandy in his South Beach home. As the sea flooded in, he shepherded his family of six adults and a 15-month-old baby to the attic, where they would be safe. Then he went to check the basement. He died when he came into contact with water that had been electrified by live wires.

“He saved the lives of 7 family members during the storm,” said Debbie Pepe, who is organizing the toy drive. “I am collecting toys for children who already lost so much due to the hurricane. I would like to make sure these children will have toys to open this holiday season.”

Toys are being collected at the following locations during regular operating hours:

  • VFW Post, 575 Mill Rd., New Dorp.
  • Gennaro’s Pizzeria, 413 New Dorp Lane.
  • Assemblyman Lou Tobacco’s Office,101 Tyrellan Ave., Suite 200.
  • Staten Island Yankees Main Offices – during business hours until Dec. 19 —  75 Richmond Terrace ,Hamilton Avenue entrance.

All toy donations are welcome, as is wrapping paper, tape and batteries.

For more information or to donate time as a volunteer, call Debbie Pepe at 718-984-3262.

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