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Son of fallen N.J. officer throws out 1st pitch at Mets game

Officer Anthony Varvaro, a former MLB pitcher, retired from baseball in 2016 to serve with the Port Authority Police Department; he was killed on his way to work in 2022

 Officer Anthony Varvaro

Port Authority Police

By Shaina McLawrence
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Christian Varvaro, the son of Staten Island native and fallen Port Authority Police Officer Anthony Varvaro, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the New York Mets game at Citi Field Wednesday night.

The honor was part of a benefit the N.Y. Police and Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund, also known as Answer the Call, hosted for the families of New York City’s fallen first responders.

Officer Varvaro, a Curtis High School graduate who spent six years as a Major League pitcher, was revered as a champion of the Staten Island baseball community, serving as a mentor to the younger generation of ballplayers.

In 2016, he retired from his baseball career to serve in the Port Authority Police Department, where he was granted a post upon request at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan.

Officer Varvaro was killed Sept. 11, 2022, on his way to work from his New Jersey home in a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Four additional children of fallen heroes joined Christian Varvaro on the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch as well.

Legendary Mets Hall of Famer, the late Daniel “Rusty” Staub, founded Answer the Call in 1985.

Over 1,000 family members of fallen NYC police officers, firefighters, and EMTs came together to enjoy Wednesday’s baseball game.

“Game & Family Day is a time when we all get together and share the memory of Rusty and our fallen family member,” said Elizabeth Edgar , widow of FDNY Firefighter George Edgar , who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in 1976. "[It] shows us that they are never forgotten.”

Tickets for the families of our fallen heroes are completely free and covered entirely by the charity and its sponsors.

Answer the Call provides financial assistance and a network of support for the families of New York City first responders who have been killed in the line of duty.

Answer the Call provides $50,000 immediately to a grieving family after they lose their loved one suddenly in the line of duty, and then continues to provide assistance in the form of annual stipends (currently $10,000) for the remainder of each widow or widower’s life or until a child turns 25 years old.

Since its inception, Answer the Call has distributed over $175 million to the families of fallen NYC first responders.

To learn more or to donate, visit:

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