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Staten Islanders Begin To Raise Money For Residents Affected By Sandy

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TWC News: Staten Islanders Begin To Raise Money For Residents Affected By Sandy
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While the damage on Staten Island is still being surveyed, some locals kicked-off fundraising efforts to help their neighbors get back on their feet. NY1's Mara Montalbano has more.

Former Mayor Rudy Guiliani joined Staten Islanders at the Postcards Memorial Friday morning, to let them know they will have support as they try and recover from Superstorm Sandy.

"Having lived through Sept. 11, I know one of the main things people need is to know they're not alone," Guiliani said.

He stood with Borough President James Molinaro and Frank Siller, chairman of the The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, to start raising money for Staten Islanders affected by Sandy.

The Siller Foundation is named for an Island firefighter who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 after running through the Battery Tunnel to help the rescue effort. It has raised millions of dollars for natural disaster relief and to help injured veterans.

"When 9/11 families came together for Katrina relief we knew that it was time to give back to another part of the country because so many people stepped up and helped New York in a time of need after 9/11," Siller said. "Well, New York is hurting again."

The Postcards Memorial is Staten Island's tribute to the 275 residents who died on Sept. 11. It's also where Molinaro watched the towers fall.

He says Staten Islanders rose to the occasion back then, and he's confident they will again.

"Here it is, I'm ending my administration with another tragedy on Staten Island," Molinaro said. "So, I came in with one and we came back from it and I am sure we're coming back from this. We're going to be bigger and stronger for one reason, and one reason only -- the people of Staten Island."

Hours after launching the effort, organizers said they had already raised $250,000

To donate to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund log onto TunnelToTowers.org.

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