2020 Year in Review
The Signal 30 Benefit Fund is grateful to report that despite the cancellation of two large fundraising events and a decline in general donations due to the economic challenges resulting from COVID-19, we were still able to raise over $1 million dollars for the 7th consecutive year. Even though we are down slightly in funds raised when compared with 2019, we have used this year to move forward in implementing new and creative fundraising strategies that we believe will serve us well in future years. For example, we have expanded our corporate sponsorships and outreach initiatives and implanted new electronic fundraising tools such as our new mobile auction program. We will continue to cultivate new opportunities for growth and look to enhance our social media presence on Instagram, Facebook & the Signal 30 Website in 2021.
There is no doubt that our continued fundraising success would not be possible without the generous support of our loyal Signal 30 Board of Directors and Trustees. The combination of our fundraising events, alone makes up the bulk of our income, with the remainder of the money coming from on-line donations, funds designated for Troopers, Director and Trustee contributions and 3rd party events. We also sincerely appreciate the NYS Troopers who designate donations to the Signal 30 Benefit Fund through their paychecks. With your continued support, we hope to overcome some of the challenges we faced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully will make up for our losses with a banner year in 2021.
In 2020, we proudly assisted NYS Troopers and their families in need by providing funds for medical treatments not covered by medical insurance, travel expenses to seek medical treatment away from their homes, and other expenses that arose due to many unforeseen circumstances. During the past year, the Signal 30 Benefit Fund assisted Troopers and their families with emergency bills for family illnesses and deaths, medical procedures not covered by insurance, and loss of property due to fire and flooding. Another important goal of the Signal 30 Fund is to provide support to the families of Troopers who have died either on duty or off duty. In furtherance of this goal, we granted money to families of our Members who passed away in 2020 to assist with funeral and burial costs. In total, the Signal 30 Benefit Fund distributed approximately $450,000 to date during the 2020 calendar year. This includes grants to Troopers and their families and money spent on PPE and hand sanitizer not only for the Troopers, but most police agencies in the state, including the NYPD. We also partnered with the Stephen Siller Tunnel2Towers Charity and they donated KN95 masks and face shields to the Signal30 Fund to be distributed to all NYS Troopers. We are truly grateful to Tunnel2Towers for providing PPE to keep our Troopers safe. A special thanks also goes to our PBA delegates who jumped in to assist with distribution of the PPE and other items to our Troopers and other members of law enforcement.
NYS Troopers PBA Scholarship Fund
This year, The NYS Troopers PBA Scholarship Fund received a total of 145 applications. We awarded a total of 36 scholarships: (1)$20,000 Silver Shield Foundation Scholarship, (1) $10,000 IMO Paul Gerry Scholarship, (1) $500 IMO of Trooper Nicholas Clark, (2) $4,000 NY Centurion Foundation Scholarships, (1) $6,500 Col. David Mack Scholarship, (1) $5,000 Catskill Hudson Bank Scholarship, (5) Sr. Investigator Raymond A. Salvie Scholarships and 24 PBA scholarships. In addition, the Sgt. Jeffry T. Edelson memorial Scholarship received 35 applications and The Edelson Family awarded (4) scholarships for $2,000 each and (18) scholarships for $1,500 each.
Troopers we lost in 2020
We are saddened to report that the New York State Troopers PBA lost three members of its Trooper family in 2020, Investigator Ryan D. Fortini, Retired Trooper Joseph J. Mecca, Jr., and Retired Trooper Jennifer M. Czarnecki, all from 9/11 related illnesses.
Investigator Ryan D. Fortini died on January 1st, 2020 as the result of cancer that he developed following his assignment to the search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. Investigator Fortini was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the New York State Police for 16 years and medically retired in 2015. He is survived by his fiancée, parents, brother, and sister. Thank you for all of your support to the family. We are truly blessed to have such a strong support system in place for the families during these difficult times.
Please remember retired Troop A Trooper Joseph J. Mecca Jr. who succumbed to a 9/11-related cancer on December 2, 2020. Retired Trooper Mecca, 62, retired in 2006 after 21 years of service and was last stationed at SP Olean – Interstate patrol. His sacrifice and passing is deemed a line-of-duty death, and rightfully so. Please remember him and his family, which includes retired Lieutenant Sal Mecca, in your thoughts and prayers.
Trooper Jennifer M. Czarnecki died on December 5, 2020, from an illness stemming from her assignment to the World Trade Center site following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Following the events of 9/11, Trooper Czarnecki was assigned to aid with the search and recovery efforts in New York City as part of the New York State Police Detail. Trooper Czarnecki entered into retirement from the New York State Police on November 3, 2020, because of her worsening illness. During her 20 years of service, Trooper Czarnecki was assigned to Troops A and D. Trooper Czarnecki served in Troop A since 2003 and was last stationed at SP Boston. Trooper Czarnecki is survived by her husband, mother and brother.
Honoring the Loss of Sgt. Andrew Francis O’Mara
Please remember and honor the loss of Sgt. Andrew Francis O’Mara, age 74. Sgt. O’Mara passed away peacefully at home on December 11, 2020, surrounded by family. Andrew was a Vietnam veteran serving in 1965-1968 with the 9th infantry division and the 716th MP battalion. He was awarded a bronze star with V device for valor, and Vietnam Service medal with two campaign stars. Andrew served 23 years with the New York State Police, rising to the rank of sergeant. He also served as the Emergency Management non-commissioned officer for Troop T. Prior to the state police, he served for seven years with the New York State parkway police on Long Island. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the N.Y.S. Troopers PBA Signal 30 Benefit Fund,48 Howard St, Albany, NY, 12207 or at https://link.edgepilot.com/s/2d803e53/QlLr0qq410CX12hlyinL7Q?u=https://signal30benstg.wpengine.com/donate/or
Please refer to the PBA website’s page titled “The Ultimate Sacrifice” for a chronological list of members who have been killed in the line of duty. Here’s the link to follow- https://www.nystpba.org/the-ultimate-sacrifice/
Giving Tuesday Now & GiveSmart Mobile Bidding Platform
In lieu of some of our live events, Signal 30 used a new platform, GiveSmart, to facilitate with fundraising goals and participated in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity that took place on May 5th, 2020, as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. The #GivingTuesdayCampaign generated approximately $13,000 in revenue with the help of many of our Trustees who got involved and provided testimonials that we were able to use on social media and on the Signal 30 Website. A special thanks to Joe Comfort, Jeff Bauml, Harvey Erdle, Patrick Murphy and Richard Tschernia for the testimonials you submitted to help with our fundraising efforts.
Signal 30 also used the new GiveSmart platform to host a mobile auction in June that made $2,000 and featured items like JetBlue airline tickets, Adirondack Getaway to Mirror Lake Inn, signed sports memorabilia, and other great items to increase fundraising dollars.
11th Annual Saratoga Golf Tournament
The 11th Annual Signal 30 Benefit Fund Golf Tournament held on September 22, 2020 at the Saratoga National Golf Club, and despite some format changes and the limited capacity, surpassed our fundraising goals over previous years. In short, this event was a tremendous success and demonstrates how the Signal 30 continued to push on in fulfillment of its mission despite the challenges of this year. We had 172 golfers who enjoyed the great venue, the food provided by Angelo Mazzone and the beverages provided by DeCrescente Distributing Co. and Heineken USA. We raised approximately $228,000 at the event and this year’s Give-Smart mobile auction was a huge success raising $24,000! We received great feed-back from the golfers who participated in the event and everyone seemed to love the Ralph Lauren golf jackets that were given out as token of our gratitude for supporting this fantastic event.
We would like to sincerely thank our sponsors who helped make this year a tremendous success: Title Sponsor: DeCrescente Distributing Co., Ryder Cup Sponsor: Sanford Family Financial of Raymond James, Hole in One Sponsor: Porsche of Clifton Park, Cigar Sponsors: Tag Solutions & Alliance Risk Group Inc., the Masters Sponsors: Ayco Company, Fred’s Tents and Canopies, Inc., Empire Forklift, Inc., DiMarco Group, Steve Giordano Builders, Keith Jones, Evolution Construction, LVW Advisors, NJ NCO, PBANYC, BBL Construction Services, Big Top Tent Rentals, Law Firm of Alex Dell, David and Shannan Carroll, NYS Laborers’ District Council, Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP., Law Offices of Don DeCarlo, Lanza Family Foundation, Gotta Do Construction, LLC., Le Chase Construction, Harvey Erdle; and the US Open Sponsor: Hugh Johnson Advisors and a special thanks to Frank Adams Jewelers. Thanks to the continued generous support of all our sponsors and attendees.
Once again, thank you for your support of Signal 30 Benefit Fund and we look forward to the 12th Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, September 20th, 2021 so mark your calendars and be sure to sign up early!
New Trustees Elected at the October Board Meeting
Congratulations to the following trustees who were elected at the October 30th Board meeting. Mohammed Ibrahim-Executive Director, Be a Mercy, nominated by Gordy Warnock, Robert Chapman-President, Chapman & Co., nominated by Joe Comfort, Dan Dagostino-Attorney, Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, nominated by Ross Piscitelli, Michael Donoghue- President, Premium Mortgage Corp., nominated by Joe Comfort, Marc Gabelli- President, Gabelli Group, nominated by Vinny Levien and Zelig Weiss- owner Riverside Development Brooklyn, nominated by Gordy Warnock, Bruce Mosler, nominated by Patrick Murphy.
NYS Trooper Apparel at the PBA Store
Are you looking for that perfect gift for a loved one? The PBA has recently launched a new online store for all of your NYS Police clothing and collectibles. For more information please visit www.nystpba.org and click on the online store link or call Shannon at 518-462-7448 x113. Also feel free to visit us on Instagram- nystrooperapparel
The Atlantis and Liquor raffles will be extended due to COVID until next year. We will once again be conducting a raffle throughout the year to win a trip to the Reef at Atlantis in the Bahamas. In 2019, we were able to raise $3,400 from the raffle and hope to increase the number of tickets sold in 2020/21. The tickets will be for sale at all our special events throughout 2021. The ticket cost is $20 and we will only sell 1000 tickets. The trip includes a 5 Day/4 Night trip to the Reef at Atlantis in the Bahamas in an Ocean View Jr. Suite for 2 with round trip airfare from NYC included. A big thank you to Richard Tschernia, Signal 30 Treasurer, who donated the condo. The Liquor Raffle is new in 2020 and only 250 tickets will be sold at $100 per ticket. You could win one bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 Year, donated by Richard Tschernia and one bottle of REMY Martin Louis XIII, donated by Vincent LeVien.
This year, we have decided to do something a little different and produced a short Signal 30 video to attach to our Holiday Appeal email that goes out and have posted the video to social media and the Signal 30 Website. The Holiday Appeal normally raises $40,000 and we are hopeful that the video will enhance end of year giving. On behalf of the NYS Troopers PBA Signal 30 Benefit Fund, we would like to thank you for your support over the past years, and in particular this year. Your generosity has enabled us to help Troopers and their families as they deal with extraordinary circumstances such as illnesses, injuries, and deaths.
Mark your Calendars for 2021
- Thursday, February 18th, 2021– 3rd Annual Trooper Hold’Em Tournament and Cigar Night at the Grand Havana Room in NYC (or other location TBD).
- Thursday, April 22, 2021– Annual Western New York Dinner at the Hyatt Regency, Rochester, NY
- Monday, May 17th, 2021– Trump Ferry Point Golf Tournament in the Bronx
- Thursday, June 3th, 2021– 10th Annual PBA Awards Dinner at Sparks Steakhouse in NY, NY.
- Thursday, July 25th, 2021- New Event at the Monticello Motor Club-details coming soon.
- Monday, September 20th, 2021– 12th Annual Saratoga National Golf Tournament
Have a happy and safe holiday season and thank you for your support in 2020. We look forward to a brighter year in 2021!