2020 is our 26th annual toy drive! please help us keep the children smiling!
Richard Gardner Jr was born on June 7, 1971. He started his elementary education at the Academy of St. Dorothy, the school that both his sister and father attended as well. Richard graduated the eight grade and went on to complete his high school education at St. Peters High School for Boys. He attended St. Johns University where graduated with a Bachelors degree. There he majored in criminal justice and was also a NYPD Cadet in his last two years of college. Richard completed the NYPD Academy in March of 1994. The 123rd Precinct, Tottenville, Staten Island was Richard’s first and only precinct in which he worked. He worked in the Youth Division, something he loved. Being there to help a child in need was when Richard felt his best.
Before we tell a little about Richard, we would like to extend a Thank You to the 123rd Precinct during the time Richard worked there. Also for all of their support throughout the years.
First and foremost, Richie loved his family. Without hesitation, he would be there whenever they needed him, no matter the time or day. His friends were amazed at how proud he was to be a part of his family and how much he cared for them. He never missed a chance to say, “I love you Ma”, to his mother, or kiss his sister with such loved warmth. He was proud of himself but never boasted, one of the things he learned from his father. He never took for granted the brotherhood he built with his brother-in-law who was nothing less than a brother to Richie. And lastly, anyone who knew him could tell you that his two nieces were his world. He reprimanded, spoiled, but Uncle “Chich” loved them without limits. A family man Richie was, a family man we’ll always remember him to be.
At the mere age of 24, Richard had more friends and accomplished more then so many people do in a lifetime. Taking it for granted was something he never did. His friends know how much they meant to him. And even till this day they’ll still say they always knew they had a true “brother” in Richie.
Whether it was buying a new one, fixing them or just driving them, Richie loved cars. He always had the newest one out there. Richie knew he was lucky to have such great cars, he cleaned and fixed them up to be “perfect”. He would let you take it for a ride only if you were careful and kept it clean. Richie’s cars were his escape and he was proud of how he kept them brand new.
When Richie entered the 123rd Precinct and became on of New York’s Finest, he opened a new chapter in his life. He found his true brothers, guys that were there for each other, anytime, any day. All of them defined the word friend and fellow officer in every way. This, Richie said was the best part of his job. Another thing Richie realized when he was placed in the Youth Division in the precinct was his desire to help children. Old, young, rich, or poor, Richie wanted to help all of them, which is why he requested a spot in the youth division. Though he was still a rookie when he passed, he was able to help so many children in so many ways. And this, Richie said, “made it all worth it”.
When Richie passed away, all who knew and loved him knew it could not be the end of him. There was no way they could let his memory fade. And so, because of his desire to help kids, to keep his memory alive, a fellow officer, Joe Frosch, started a toy drive in his name. Words cannot express our feelings for what Officer Frosch did. After that year, the family, with the help of Officer Frosch and the 123rd Precinct the Richard Gardner Jr Toy Drive was started. With the help of all who have donated their time, money or a single toy, we now have kept Richie’s memory alive since 1995!
So, on behalf of our beloved son, brother and uncle, we would like to Thank all of You from the bottom of our hearts. For this toy drive would never have been possible without you. You have made a memory last for years to come!
This is all for you, “Chich”, we all hope your proud and smiling down!
Richard Gardner Jr, June 7, 1971 - October 31, 1994
Our First Annual Toy Drive that was all started by the Officers of the 123rd Precinct and PO Joe Frosch. Staten Island Advance 1995
Our Second Annual Toy Drive that we, the family took over and kept it going. Staten Island Advance 1996