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    9. 11. 2001

    On September 11th, 2001, Lt. Joseph G. Leavey, of Ladder Company 15 (FDNY) gave his life at the WTC attack. A well known Pelham resident, Joe left behind a wife and three children. The foundation was established in his honor and all proceeds benefit the children and community of Pelham.

    Share a story about Joe Leavey 

    Would you like to call in and share a story as a remembrance of Joe? To access the Call to Remember Archive please dial (866) 582-5613 (Toll Free) or (646) 248-6225 (Local). When connected, you will hear a recorded voice welcoming you to the service and explaining the recording process. You will then be asked to enter a 4-digit identification code for the person you are intending to remember. The Call to Remember ID for Joseph Gerard Leavey is: 2481. Please feel free to forward this option on to family members and friends who don't live in the New York area.

    Joseph Leavey had a crush on skyscrapers. He could stand for hours outside a high-rise and marvel at it. He always wanted to become a firefighter, but he became an engineer in the construction industry because of his affection for buildings. Then he became a firefighter.

    His favorite spot was Battery Park City. His favorite buildings: the World Trade Center. It was his habit to take his family to Lower Manhattan, so he could soak in the dimensions of the trade center. He took endless pictures of the buildings, sometimes lying flat on his back. 

    As a lieutenant with Ladder 15 in the South Street Seaport, Mr. Leavey, 45, was one of the first firefighters to reach the trade center on Sept. 11.

    He lived in Pelham, N.Y., with his wife, Carole, son, Brian,  and a daughter, Caitlin. He also has a stepdaughter, Kerri, who lives in Manhattan.

    "Joe was a real people person," Carole Leavey said. "There wasn't a person in Pelham Joe didn't know."

    For the family Christmas card, he often tried to get a family portrait set somewhere amid New York's skyscrapers. No one forgot the time he hustled them to the top of the Citicorp building so he could shoot them with the New York skyline in the background.

    "I swear it must have been 20 degrees below zero," said his stepdaughter. "The winds were like 100 miles an hour."

    It turned out the picture was overexposed. So Mr. Leavey substituted a photo of the family in front of the New York Stock Exchange. 

    On September 11, 2011 Lt. Leavey lost his life heroically trying to save others in the World Trade Center attack. 

    In memory of Lt. Leavey, a few months after his death, the firefighters got together for a golf outing fundraiser and they raised almost $8,000 in which they gave to Lt. Leavey's wife, Carole. Carole was taken aback by the generosity and for nearly a year she couldn't think of what to do with the money.

    In looking back, it seems natural of the Leaveys in what Carole decided to do with the money raised...she gave it away. She broke the money up into scholarships and gifts to the community Lt. Leavey loved. In the nearly 10 years since his passing, the Lt. Joseph G. Leavey Foundation has donated thousands of dollars in scholarships, a library full of books to the Pelham Middle School and have made countless donations in Lt. Leavey's name.

    Lt. Joseph G. Leavey was a husband, a father, a friend, a neighbor and a hero. The Foundation will continue on to remember his ultimate sacrifice as we better the community—so that out of the tragic losses of September 11, 2011 there will be renewal, strength and leadership. It is the way Joe Leavey would have liked for us to carry on.