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Boonton Man Recalls 9/11 Victim: 'He Was My Best Friend'

Ron Dollard remembers the lessons his friend Martin Boryczewski taught him and honors him through an annual charity event.

Ron Dollard, who lives in Boonton, met his friend, , when they attended Morris Catholic High School together in the late 1980s and early '90s.

"Marty was someone special," Dollard recalled. "He was a positive guy and a fun guy, and being around him, you wanted to be like him.

"He was my best friend."

Dollard lost his best friend on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists used planes to take down the World Trade Center in New York City and killed nearly 3,000 people.

Boryczewski was a 29-year-old employee of financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald when his life was taken.

Asked what he remembered most about his friend, Dollard grew quiet.

"Just the camaraderie we had, and our ability to be upfront and honest with each other at all times," he said. "You don't get too many friends you can be completely honest with. Down to the color of your car, if he didn't like it, he'd tell you. if you needed an honest answer, he was the one to give it."

According to Dollard, Boryscewski was the type of man who touched lives wherever he went.

"He taught me and so many people about the right way to live," he said.

Dollard said he is still learning lessons from his friend.

"Throughout the last three years, as the economy went down, I thought about how Marty lived his life," he said. "He worked hard and played hard and did everything 100 percent. Even with the economy, I thought about what he might say, that you have to remember that the reason you're around is to enjoy family and friends. You have to be able to let go of work when you need to and focus on what's really important.

"I know it's been 11 years, and that's a long time, but sometimes it feels like [the tragedy] just happened."

True to the lessons Dollard gained from his longtime friendship with Boryczewski, he has spent the last decade-plus trying to bring something positive out of the 9/11 tragedy.

In 2002, Dollard, his wife and numerous friends decided to get Marty's pals together for a golf outing.

"Initially, it was about 40 of us. We'd get together to remember Marty and play golf," he said.

The golf outing became a yearly tradition, and as the years passed, Dollard said organizers wanted to move the event into the direction of doing good works in Boryczewski's honor and to keep his memory alive for the entire community.

In 2010, the nonprofit group Friends of Marty was established and the golf event became a scholarship event to benefit an incoming junior at Morris Catholic High School.

This year's recipient is Sarah Shirkey of Montville, an honor student and star athlete. She will receive $5,000 from Friends of Marty that will go toward her tuition for her junior and senior years.

"We choose a student who is active in school and the community, like Marty was," Dollard said, adding that previous recipients Michael Iamunni and Sean Rabbit are continuing on positive paths. "Sarah is a great choice to continue that tradition."

All of the golf event's proceeds go toward the scholarship.

In the future, in the hope of broadening the reach of the nonprofit, Dollard said the organization plans to do something to benefit students at St. Peter's University, where Boryczewski went to college.

It's no accident that sports are the central activity of the charitable effort.

Before going to work for Cantor Fitzgerald, Dollard said Boryczewski spent four years playing minor league professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers.

"Marty also taught kids about baseball," he said. "It was important to him to teach people and help people."

And Dollard explained that shortly before his death, Boryczewski had discovered a new sport—golf.

"Back in 2001, I remember Marty had taken up golf and bought himself a new set of clubs," he said.

The 2012 Friends of Marty golf outing is scheduled for Oct. 27 at the Skyview Golf Club in Sparta at 10 a.m. Information on how to register can be found at the Friends of Marty website.

Of course, before that day arrives, there will be Sept. 11, 2012, to get through.

"Sept. 11 is usually a quiet day for me," Dollard told Patch, saying that he tends to avoid television coverage of the tragic event. "In the morning I'll think about him and the time that's passed and how much I miss him, and then I move on to something else. It's about being true to Marty and who he was.

"You don't linger," he explained. "He always said that every day is a new day. But every year I remember where I was and the last times I spent with him. It's a little remembrance, and it regenerates my interest in the charity." 

Dollard said one of the most rewarding parts of Friends of Marty is seeing what scholarship recipients will go forward and do with their lives.

"It's kind of neat to see the direct correlation between Marty's life and these kids getting fantastic high school educations," he said. "It's very rewarding to know that some students get the opportunity to get the same great education that we had and that we could help out along the way."

Most of all, though, he said it allows him in some fashion to stay close to his best friend.

"Marty was one of a kind."

VietNam Vet September 12, 2012 at 01:03 AM
And are we any safer today than we were Odumbo/Osama who still believes the iranians want to be our friends. What moron would continue to think this way after everything we have seen and been through. This country is in worse shape now and so is Isreal if they believe that this country will stand behind them if they attack iran. I think that Isreal is better off forcing his hand and make the U.S. stand behind them. Isreal needs to blow the living hell out of iran and knock them back 200 years.

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