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College Point VAC turns 65 – QNS.com

College Point VAC turns 65

Since February 24th, 1941, the College Point Volunteer Ambulance Corps has been dedicated to providing a valuable service to area residents.
The 65-year-old volunteer ambulance squad boasts being the first formed in New York City as well as the second formed in the entire state.
“We kind of pioneered volunteer ambulance service in the city,” said Chris Legaz, president of the organization. “When other squads started to form, they looked to us for assistance.”
Legaz joined the College Point Volunteer Ambulance Corps’ youth group at age 14, becoming a full member in 1982. He is one of 35 active members who are with the organization today. Along with that, there are also about 15 members who assist with administrative tasks.
The ambulance corps provides free transportation to area residents who need to get to a hospital and then back home too.
“The people that benefit from us the most are the people who don’t have health insurance,” Legaz said. “There’s nothing like helping somebody out.”
According to Legaz, the reason that this organization has been able to enjoy such a distinguished heritage of service is because of its dedicated members and also those in the neighborhood who continually support its work.
“We solely survive on the donations of the community, residents and business,” he said. “Literally, without the funds we wouldn’t survive.”
Vice President Paula Simmons said that, when they are out in the community doing things like taking part in the Memorial Day parade, it is obvious that their work does not go unnoticed.
“When they’re cheering, clapping and throwing kisses, you know they appreciate you,” she said.
Simmons said that they are always looking for the community to get involved, whether as volunteers who go out on calls or people who handle the switchboard.
“We need more volunteers,” said Simmons, who has been with the volunteer ambulance corps since 1993. “Help us to help you.”
The College Point Volunteer Ambulance Corps will celebrate its 65th anniversary on April 1st during its installation luncheon. The event will be held at Knights of Columbus on College Point Boulevard at 7 p.m.
For more information on the College Point Volunteer Ambulance Corps, call (718) 353-0199 or e-mail collegepointvac@earthlink.net. Donations can also be mailed to the organization at P.O. Box 84, College Point, NY 11356.

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