UNION, NJ – Union firefighters presented members of the Steitz family and the New Jersey Veterans Network a donation to the Anthony Steitz Scholarship Fund from the department’s “Staches for Steitz” fundraiser Wednesday at fire headquarters.
The fundraiser, part of ‘No Shave November’, raised $6,100. Firefighters George Brophy, Daniel Rodriguez, and Matthew Hokanson organized the fundraiser, selling t-shirts and sweatshirts to benefit the scholarship fund.
“This is the best way to remember Anthony,” said his father Union Fire Captain Gary Steitz. “The scholarship will go toward a deserving cadet and that’s what Anthony would have wanted.” Anthony came from a long line of public service within the fire department, with brothers, Captain Chris Steitz and Gary Steitz, Jr., in the Union Fire Department and Matt Steitz, a fireman in Cranford.
“We thank Chief Scanio for his support, members of the Union Fire Department who donated and helped get the word out, the Union Police Department, Roselle Park PBA, the Cranford Fire Department, Randy Levchuk for the merchandise, and everyone who helped,” said Brophy. “It was an honor to do this for the Steitz family.”
Anthony P. Steitz was 17 when he was killed in an accident on Route 78 on Sunday, April 28, 2019. PFC Steitz was a junior at Union High School and a member of the Union High School JROTC Program. He was set to command the program this year. Steitz was an active member of the Army National Guard through its split-training option and trained one weekend per month with a local unit. After completing his junior year of high school in June, Steitz planned to spend the summer in basic combat training. Upon graduating from high school, Steitz was scheduled to attend advanced individual training to prepare for his career in the National Guard. He was given the rank of Army Specialist posthumously.
Mike Boll, president of the New Jersey Veterans Network, who manages the Anthony Steitz Scholarship Fund, said all the donations will go to Union High School JROTC cadets and veterans in need. He said the Steitz family controls the fund. “We are constantly doing things to help the veteran community and money like this really does help,” said Boll. “It’s donations like this that really helps us provide better lives for some veterans. The Steitz family has always been on board with us, and we appreciate their support.”
Union High School JROTC instructor First Sergeant (Retired) Gerald Schemel added, "I'd like to thank Mr. Steitz and the entire Steitz family. They've always been great to our program. Whatever we can do for Mike Boll or the Fire Department, we're there."