Ricardo Torres Jr.

Three Kings Toy Drive Honors Fallen Firefighter Ricardo Torres Jr.

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A toy drive with a big meaning was held in New Haven Saturday.

"This toy drive in his honor means everything. This toy drive is just another way if him moving forward and also letting my grandkids, his two children, know who [their] father was," said Armand Mendez, Ricardo Torres' stepfather. He raised Torres since he was 12 years old.

The drive was held to honor fallen firefighter Ricardo Torres Jr. who died in May while battling a fire.

Saturday's annual Three Kings Day weekend celebration is put on by several groups, including the New Haven Hispanic Firefighters Association (NHHFA), which is the group Torres was a part of.

The association said he was looking forward to taking part in this year's giveaway.

"His mom reached out to us and she wanted to keep his memory alive and be part of this. So she started collecting toys which turned out to be about 1,000 toys that were collected in his memory. So we can do this event today," said Rafael Zayas of the NHHFA.

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"We just want to spread joy and happiness during difficult times and keep the tradition of the three kings alive within our community," said Elmer Rivera Bello, Casa Otonal director.

Saturday's event was a drive-thru because of the pandemic.

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