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Cantor Fitzgerald
Equity options trader
Where Died
World Trade Center

A loving family lost Christopher Ingrassia on Sept. 11, 2001, but he left behind an incredible legacy of philanthropy.

The 10th annual and final "Chris Classic," a golf outing and fundraiser that paid homage to the 28-year-old Watchung Hills Regional High School graduate's memory, was conducted Aug. 1 at Mercer Oaks Golf Club in West Windsor. The event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for several charities since its inception, most notably Community House at Princeton University, an organization that benefits underprivileged children living near Ingrassia's alma mater.

"No one has forgotten him ... some of his buddies and professors still come out each year," said Marie Bradley of Green Brook, Ingrassia's grandmother. "The support and love and remembrance of so many people is so, so dear to us, you just can't believe it."

Ingrassia's father, Anthony Ingrassia Sr., who helps manage the family construction company in Middlesex Borough, said four of his son's former football teammates and classmates came up with the idea for the Chris Classic.

"We're real happy that they started it," Ingrassia said. "We're just happy that his buddies and friends continue to think about him."

Christopher Ingrassia earned nine varsity letters in football, wrestling and track, capturing all-state honors in football, while a student at Watchung Hills, where he was named the school's Somerset County Scholar-Athlete in 1991. He continued his football career at Princeton University, where he was a varsity letter winner and an economics major before rocketing to instant success in the world of finance.

An imposing physical figure as well, Ingrassia inevitably drew comparisons to former New York Yankees pitching great David Wells in bars and restaurants, according to friends. "Go big or go home" was said to be one of his favorite sayings, and ultimately it became the name of the longest-drive contest held annually the morning of each Chris Classic.

Ingrassia just had returned from London, where he was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, when he was assigned to a spot at the financial services firm's global headquarters in the World Trade Center's North tower. It was the first tower struck by a hijacked jetliner on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Cantor Fitzgerald, which occupied most of floors 101-105 in the North Tower, lost more than 650 employees that day, more than any other company.

"Like they say, life does go on, but it's still a very difficult thing, and still painful to think that we go on and he doesn't," Ingrassia said. "It was a shock then and it's still something you really can't believe happened. We had a lot of nice things happen in the meantime, though ... it doesn't make it better, but these are wonderful events in our lives, and we're very happy about them."

- Mark Spivey

Ingrassia, a graduate of Watchung Hills Regional High School and Princeton University, worked on the upper floors of the World Trade Center's North Ttower.
Parents Gloria and Anthony Ingrassia; siblings Anthony Jr., Paul and Elisa

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