Staten Island’s Best Dressed: More than 670 guests attend inaugural Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation dinner

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — More than 670 guests gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn for the inaugural Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation dinner on March 2, honoring the former Major League pitcher and Port Authority Police Officer Anthony Varvaro, who was killed while on the way to protect the Ground Zero Memorial Services on Sept. 11, 2022.

The word “Believe” in the Foundation’s name came from a tattoo of the word on Varvaro’s wrist, based on Varvaro’s unflinching view to “believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and goals,” according to Varvaro’s widow, Kerry.

“We, the Varvaro family, are in awe of the outpouring of support in tribute to Anthony,” said Kerry. “We can’t thank enough everyone who contributed to the first night of the Foundation playing a part in continuing his legacy.

“With a small donation to close out the 50/50, the pot totaled $38,000, symbolic of Varvaro’s major league baseball number 38. Thank you to our keynote speaker, Jennie Taylor, the surviving spouse of US Army Major Brent Taylor.”

Honored at the event were: FC Chaos Gym, Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Snug Harbor Little League and Derek Smith, and Our Lady of Good Counsel. The Foundation’s Believe awards, presented by Kerry and her children, AJ, Jonathan, Christian and Savannah to the individuals or organizations “who make people believe during their toughest times.”

After an opening by the PAPD Honor Guard and Pipes and Drums, an introductory video was played from Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark, in addition to a musical performance by rising Nashville star Jillian Cardarelli.

The Believe Foundation awarded its first Believe grant, to the family of a first grade girl in Varvaro’s childrens’ school, who has been fearlessly battling cancer. In addition, all 50/50 proceeds were donated to the family of FDNY Firefighter Kamran A. Khan, who died suddenly on February 24, 2024 after serving with Varvaro’s brother-in-law for over 10 years.

The night also included an ESPN video of Varvaro in his own words, on why he chose to leave professional baseball for a career in law enforcement: From MLB pitcher to police officer – ESPN Video.

Live auctions were conducted by Tunnel to Towers CEO Frank Siller and Carl V. Bini Fund Chairman Massimo DiDonna to raise funds for the Foundation’s purpose of supporting individuals and families facing unexpected tragedy, as well as enhancing the quality of youth sports in Anthony’s community.

See the photos below for a glimpse into the event and send your photos for future installments of this column to [email protected]. Be sure to include clear photos with details of the event and names of everyone in the photos.

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Anthony’s parents, Torrence and Paulette Varvaro, address the crowd at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Michael Carney, Vincent Pitta and Allie Carney at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Tunnel to Towers CEO Frank Siller and Carl V. Bini Fund Chairman Massimo DiDonna conduct live auctions at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

James Thomson, Dennis Barrett and Robert Coughlin at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Varvaro Foundation)
Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Michelle Muratore and Rilee Thomson at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Executive Club of Staten Island at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Varvaro Foundation)

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Pooja Fitzimmons sings the National Anthem at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Karalyn Buono, Kerry Varvaro and Rachael Fundaro at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Taylor Thomson, Erin Thomson, Julie Thomson and Rosanna Thomson at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Christian Varvaro, Savannah Varvaro, Meghan Thomson and Taylor Thomson at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Christina Picciano and John Picciano at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Nicole Stefanski, Kate Patterson, Meg DeCristoforo, Courtney Cialino, Jenna Creighton and Erin Kyle at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)
Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Joseph Saraceno, Carla Buonviaggio and Erinn Vaiano at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Vincent Pitta and PBA President Frank Conti at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Varvaro family with James Thomson and Frank Siller at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Jordan Zotts, Matthew Martino and Jimothy Lopovich at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Keynote Speaker Jennie Taylor with Megan Taylor, and Tunnel to Towers CEO Frank Siller, at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)
Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Lindsay Martino, Ellie Lopovich, Kerry Varvaro and Evelyn Leahy enjoy the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Caitlyn Welch and Michael Borhi enjoy the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)
Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Torrence Varvaro Jr. with wife Diana Varvaro at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

The Varvaro family is pictured with Sal Toner at the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Jeffrey Stefanski, James Leahy and Matthew Stefansk enjoy the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Robert Chi and Charlie Donohue enjoy the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)
Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Jill Kissel and Nicole Camelliti enjoy the Anthony M. Varvaro Believe Foundation inaugural Gala Dinner on March 2, 2024, held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. (Courtesy Geophotonyc)Courtesy Varvaro Foundation

Related Posts