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United States Marine Corps Posthumously Names 10-Year-Old Lazar LaPenna as Toys for Tots Co-Chairman

Left to Right: USMC Sgt Richards; John Holzer, Co-Owner Martino Auto Concepts; USMC Major Chuck Kilbride (ret); Long Beach Police Commissioner Ron Walsh; USMC Sgt Garcia; Joe LaPadula, Co-Owner Martino Auto Concepts and Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

USMC Toys for Tots presented a plaque in Lazar’s honor to be displayed inside the Long Beach Recreation Center.

Pictured from Left to Right with Donations from the USMC Toys for Tots Van are USMC Major Chuck Kilbride (ret) ; USMC Sgt Garcia; Lazar LaPenna's Brothers, Blaze and Gerry, and their father Gregg LaPenna.

The 10-Year-Old’s Legacy will Live On through Continued Donations

COLD SPRING HARBOR, NY, UNITED STATES, May 20, 2022 / -- The United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots has announced that it has named Lazar LaPenna as this year’s Co-Chairman, posthumously. The 10-year-old, Long Island resident passed away just weeks ago during a Little League game of baseball, suffering an epileptic attack at first base. To honor his memory, each donation made this season to a hospital will be in LaPenna’s name.

An avid New York Mets fan, LaPenna, a fourth grader at Long Beach Public School, passed doing what he loved – playing Little League. To keep his memory alive, the Marine Corps donated approximately 600 toys to the local nonprofit, the Long Beach Christmas Angel, (“LBCA”), which is dedicated to improving the lives of families. Additionally, a ceremony was held on Thursday, May 19, where the Marine Corps presented a plaque in Lazar’s honor to be displayed inside the Long Beach Recreation Center.

“With Lazar’s untimely passing, we wanted to be able to honor him in a way that was close to his heart,” said retired USMC Major Chuck Kilbride. “By naming his as Co-Chairman of this year’s Toys for Tots campaign, we feel that he is with us every step of the way, ensuring all children will have the holiday they deserve.”

Toys for Tots will also be donating Hess Trucks to Lazar’s Little League team. Meanwhile, teams across the nation have joined together in solidarity for LaPenna’s family and friends by leaning three bats against the entrance to their respective clubhouses. This gesture was first adopted by the Mets themselves just days after learning of LaPenna’s passing.

“Lazar and the entire LaPenna family has had such an impact on our local community. We are grateful to the LaPenna family for designating LBCA as the local charity to receive this generous donation in Lazar’s name from Toys for Tots. We grieve with them during this incredibly difficult time and will honor Lazar by ensuring this donation is broadly distributed in Lazar’s hometown and shared with the children in his school district,” explained Johanna Sofield, Executive Director of The Long Beach Christmas Angel. “He touched so many hearts, young and old, and will remain with us in spirit, long after his time on Earth,” she continued.

“We know that Lazar is looking down smiling right now on how many lives he is able to touch through this indescribable designation,” said Gregg LaPenna, Lazar’s father. “He loved toys and games and having this opportunity to be able to share them with kids less fortunate would make him so proud,” he added.


Alyssa Nightingale
+1 631-367-8599

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