Robert A. Champi has received a community service award from the Staten Island Not For Profit Association for tireless commitment himself to the homes, structures and mission of Historic Richmond Town.
Champi is chair of the buildings and ground committee with the board of directors, and a second-generation Staten Islander born and raised in West Brighton.
From building the gondola and Leaning Tower of Pisa showcased at the Island’s Columbus Day celebration at Richmond Town and Mt. Loretto, to creating giant scarecrows and pumpkin-themed photo booths for Decker Farm, to the myriad of ride-on miniature recreations that have become synonymous with kid-friendly photo opportunities at Richmond County Fair, Bob has always placed the guest and visitor experience at the forefront of his volunteerism.
Recently, Champi was instrumental in rejuvenating the grounds and outbuildings of the Richmond Town administrative office, restoring beauty and charm to the landscape, and exponentially raising its curb appeal by rebuilding and reroofing four primary outbuildings to better protect the collection items.
He embodies Richmond Town’s History Driven, Future Focused philosophy, which is evidenced by his longstanding commitment to Staten Island.
“Bob is an inspiration to our board and a catalyst for change with his volunteerism,” noted Kevin Fisher, chairman of the board. “We are deeply appreciative of his commitment and proud of his many achievements recognized by this long overdue distinction. On behalf of the board and staff, we are grateful for Alex Lutz and the Staten Island Not For Profit Association for creating this year’s community service awards program.”
Renovating residential properties on the Island and upstate New York, preserving their charm and quality, has been his passion for thirty years. Despite economic incentives, he has never torn down a home.
The restoration of a neglected late nineteenth century Queen Anne style house, a former sea captain’s home in lower West Brighton, earned him the admiration of the owners and the gratitude of the neighbors for preserving the house and reviving its majestic stature to the neighborhood.
A lifelong advocate for animals and movie buff, Bob pursued a career in film making having wrote, directed and produced a feature film crime drama shot on Staten Island with Borough Hall, the Courthouse and South Beach as key locations.
Bob is grateful and appreciative for the foresight of the Staten Island Historical Society’s founding members, and donates his time and talent to restoring Historic Richmond Town and preparing it for the future. He resides in his renovated 1930’s Mediterranean style home in Great Kills with his partner and best friend Elizabeth Slayback along with April, their rescued hard-of-hearing albino Pitbull.