[Saugerties, NY] (December 14, 2020) – First Responders Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports children of first responders and their families, delivered over $200,000 worth of toys to Ulster County this past Sunday. With the help of local first responder agencies, Council of Churches, local schools and community organization Sawyer Motors Foundation, First Responder Children’s Foundation and local first responders distributed toys to more than 400 families in the community. This COVID-safe, drive-through event was made possible by toy and monetary donations collected from the Ulster County community, Sawyer Motors and The First Responders Children’s Foundation Toy Express. 

The First Responders Children’s Foundation Toy Express is a national program brought to life through partnerships with Mattel and American Girl, who have donated more than $3.5 million in toys to the program in total. Additional Toy Express sponsors include CSX, Good360, Hess Toy Truck, Jakks Pacific, and Toys for Tots. 

At the event, First Responders Children’s Foundation presented Local Hero Awards to firefighter Steve Nadal, nurse Jacquelyn Hackett and school resource officer Travis Winchell. The local heroes each received a monetary award in recognition of their service totaling $5,000. 

"This is what life is all about, people helping people,” said Saugerties Mayor Bill Murphy. “Thanks to our partnership with First Responders Children’s Foundation, we will be able to reach hundreds of more children and their families each and every year. I could not be more excited or feel more blessed to be part of this."

The Foundation surprised Bob Siracusano and Larry Siracusano, owners of Sawyer Motors with The First Responders Children’s Foundation Corporate Hero Award in recognition of their tireless energy in giving back to their community. An Ulster County Public Service Scholarship in honor of Sawyer Automotive Foundation in the amount of $20,000 over four years will be awarded to a child of an Ulster County first responder.

“We are so grateful to make this connection with First Responders Children’s Foundation,” said Bob. “We are in unprecedented times now and being able to help so many families in need is our main goal of this event. Giving back to our community who supports us is so important because we hope to continue putting smiles on children's faces for years to come.”

The First Responders Children’s Foundation Local Hero and Corporate Hero awards were sponsored by CSX Pride in Service, the company’s signature initiative to honor and serve the nation’s military, veterans and first responders. “CSX is grateful to be able support first responders in the Ulster County community this holiday season,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of corporate communications. “At CSX, one in five employees has served in some capacity so this cause is very near to us.”

“We’re saying happy holidays and thank you to the heroic first responders who show up when we dial 911,” said Jillian Crane, president of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “Toy Express will help make a happy holiday for the children of our first responders which include nurses, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, paramedics, medical personnel, and 911 dispatchers. Our first responders are on the frontlines of the pandemic, and they continue to risk their own health every day in selfless service to their local communities across the country.”

Also in attendance were representatives from Saugerties’ Mayor’s Office as well as members of Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, Saugerties Police Department, New York State Police, Centerville Fire District, Glasco Fire Company and Saugerties Fire Company.

By the end of the holiday season, First Responders Children’s Foundation’s Toy Express will have delivered more than 250,000 free toys and masks through various COVID-safe events throughout the country.

An electronic press kit may be accessed here.

First Responders Children’s Foundation began in the wake of 9/11 when founder and chairman, Alfred R. Kahn, hosted the first annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast just weeks after the 9/11 attacks.  That year, more than 800 children and family members of first responders lost in the line of duty were invited to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade from private, front-row viewing which began an annual tradition of welcoming devastated first responder families into a supportive environment to face the challenges of the start of a holiday season without a loved one.  19 years later, the Foundation continues to support the families of first responders across the country with critical assistance including college scholarships and financial grants including paying for funeral bills of first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community.  During the 2020 pandemic, the Foundation has assisted more than 677,638 first responders through its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.  This holiday season, First Responders Children’s Foundation’s Toy Express will help provide cheer and happiness to children and families of first responders. Media assets for Toy Express can be found at

Media Contact:

Joanna Black

+1 (646) 912-2681

This email was sent to

First Responders Children's Foundation, 38 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016, United States


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