Scholarship fundraiser memorialized former firefighter from Staten Island

Scholarship fundraiser memorialized former firefighter from Staten Island

MEIERS CORNERS-- The fourth annual Lt. Chuck Margiotta FDNY Memorial Brains Brawn Bravery Motorcycle event was another huge success.

And that’s good news for some Monsignor Farrell High School students.

The event — which was held in early June at the Oakwood school — serves as the main fundraiser for the Chuck Margiotta Scholarship Fund. The fund provides a scholarship to a youngster who wants to attend Farrell and play football but needs financial support to do so.

This year’s recipient of the scholarship was West Brighton resident Brandon Perez, who graduated last month from Prall Intermediate School in West Brighton.

“Financial need is the first priority. The second is we’re looking for kids with character and students who are interested in playing football,” said Chuck’s brother, Mike Margiotta. “They don’t necessarily have to play, and it doesn’t mean we’ll pick football players every year. It could be basketball. We’re trying to pick students who exhibit a lot of what my brother was.”

Chuck, a former Meiers Corners resident, was a lieutenant employed with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) for 20 years when he died in the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He was on his way home from doing a “mutual,” when he heard the news on his truck radio. He drove to the nearest firehouse in time to jump on the ill-fated rig with the guys from Rescue Co. 5 in Concord.

Before he embarked on his career in the FDNY, Margiotta made a name for himself on Staten Island as a great athlete and, most importantly, a scholar.

“My brother was a great student. He graduated from Brown University and played for an Ivy League-championship team. We’re looking for people who embody him as a great student and someone with great character and he was a character,” said the Westerleigh resident. “We’re looking for the all-around kid.

Among those participating in the fundraiser were, from the left, Joe Vaccaro, Dave Caputo and Steve and Blanche Beyer.

“I’m not looking for a kid to have a 96 average. I want a kid to be someone when I ask about them, they’ll tell me he’s a good kid,” he continued.

Margiotta said this year’s motorcycle event was the best ever as over 300 motorcycles participated —120 more than the previous best. Also, due to the great weather that day, another 150 to 200 people came to Farrell High School to attend the event and lend support.

“When we start the event, I tell them about my brother and his life,” said Margiotta. “I then introduce the scholarship recipients and I bring them to the microphone and I thank them and I tell them this is what the event goes towards. It’s a pretty overwhelming feeling when you see the product.”

Margiotta said the event could not have been a huge success without the help from the Rolling Thunder motorcycle club as well as all the various donations and services provided by businesses from all over Staten Island as well as New Jersey.

“People surprise me all the time. When you do what I do, you have to do it shamelessly. If I ask 100 stores, I expect 99 to say no,” said Margiotta. “They surprise me year after year. I keep getting people coming out of the woodwork that knock on my door or visit my website and ask what I can do.”

Margiotta said he is extremely grateful for all those services and donations which help keep his brother’s legacy alive.

“I feel great knowing that something in my brother’s name is carrying on a great tradition for Farrell pride. These kids exemplify what they want from Farrell students and Farrell graduates,” said Margiotta.

For those seeking more information about the event or the scholarship, visit

Lastly, if you’re thinking about attending next year’s event, you can circle your calendar for June 2, 2013 as the fifth annual motorcycle event will take place that day.