Founded in 1922, a time when there was little in the way of health and death benefits, the Anchor Club focused on the needs of the widows and children of all deceased members of the Department. This included every member of the service both line of duty and non-line of duty, without regard to racial, religious, or ethnic background. They did what they could to assist the families of our deceased members in their time of need. To support them and continue to assist them as long as possible.
The Anchor Club also focused attention on a somewhat forgotten segment of the population. Namely the thousands of children in the orphanages throughout the city and metropolitan areas. During this time if children were left parentless and there was no relatives to care for them they were routinely placed in an orphanage. The club wanted to let these children know that they were important and that they were not forgotten. The Anchor Club ran events at the orphanages such as field days, Christmas parties and took the children on various outings. The Anchor Club sponsored a baseball team “The Anchor Club Orphans All Stars”. Members would pick up the kids from the various orphanages, such as St. Agnes at Sparkill, Hebrew National in Yonkers, Graham School at Hastings on the Hudson, St Raymond’s in the Bronx and Mount Loretto on Staten Island, and transport them to practices and the games. The highlight of the season was the game between the Anchor Club All Stars and the team from Father Flanagan’s Boys Town (Nebraska). This game was played at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan (this was the home field of the NY Giants until they relocated to San Francisco in 1957). However, the major event of the year was the annual outing at Palisades Park in New Jersey or Steeplechase Park in Coney Island. Four to five thousand orphans were transported via some 150 buses dispatched throughout the metropolitan area. Each bus was staffed with a uniformed officer and a nun. Other uniformed officers met the children at the amusement park where they were escorted on any attraction they wished. Police Officers also served the thousands of lunches that were supplied. A number of these orphans became members of the Department. Each related how they looked forward to attending this outing each year and how it made them feel important.
Times change, Palisades Park closed and the Steeplechase Park closed. It was also the advent of Foster Care and the orphanages themselves closed. From that time on the club has devoted its full efforts to the widows and children of all deceased members of the service. This relationship would continue as long as the families wished to be involved in Anchor Club activities. We wanted to let them know that as part of the police family they have not and never will be forgotten. That is why we are known as the club with a heart and a long memory.