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Toy drive organized by late Jersey City firefighter lives on in his honor

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A toy drive that was once organized by a Jersey City firefighter who died from Ground Zero complications continues to live on in his honor.

Jersey City Fire Captain Mark Lee organized the department’s annual Christmas toy drive for 27 years. When he died in 2014, his fellow firefighters vowed to continue the tradition in his honor.

Close to 300 children received toys on Wednesday when the donations were handed out at an event at Chuck E. Cheese. The toy drive has since been renamed in Lee’s honor.

"He was one of the pioneers of this extremely generous program that seemed to have snowballed into an avalanche,” says Captain Bill Finn.

The drive has widened over the years to not just underprivileged children but to more than 700 kids who have special needs.

"I added onto the special needs department because I felt it was something very dear to his heart. He came to a couple of events with me,” says Captain Buddy Hayes.

The Jersey City Fire Department also distributed toys through schools, hospitals and other organizations.

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