Pasta Dinner To Help Vol. Ambulance
Elected officials and members of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) will host a 1950s-themed pasta dinner to benefit the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps (WRHVAC) on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Emanuel United Church of Christ.
The all-volunteer ambulance corps was forced to relocate after debris from an adjacent building at 78-19 Jamaica Ave. damaged its headquarters in April 2013. More than a year later, the group is struggling to stay afloat, according to WRBA members, and may soon lose its nonprofit status, it was noted.
At its most recent meeting on Aug. 16, WRBA members remained frustrated that the building has not been rebuilt or razed.
The owner of the parially collapsed structure, George Kochabe, was ordered by a civil court judge to begin rebuilding by October, or the edifice will be demolished by the city.
The damage necessitated the relocation of the Woodhaven- Richmond Hill Senior Center as well.
Community elected officials, including Rep. Nydia Velázquez, State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Assemblyman Mike Miller and City Council Members Elizabeth Crowley and Eric Ulrich will host the fundraiser dinner.
“When the bricks fell from the top story of the Jamaica Avenue building, it had a ripple effect across our community. WRHVAC has been a vital piece to assisting in emergencies and just helping during their day-to-day lives,” Addabbo said. “Their work and committent provided us all with a sense of ease, and now our main focus is getting that back and get them back on their feet.”
Falling debris broke through the Ambulance Corps’ walls and left the interior open to inclement weather. Accumulating moisture has turned the inside moldy, it was noted.
As reported in the Times Newsweekly, WRBA members are concerned that another winter will inflict further damage.
“It has been well over 500 days since our beloved corps was forced to close. The ambulance corps is the lifeblood of our community and we must continue to do everything we can to ensure that its doors remain open,” Miller said.
“The Woodhaven Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps provides vital services for the community, and this event will go a long way to ensure that the Corps’ good work continues to serve local residents,” Ulrich said.
“We need to come together to make sure we don’t lose this important partner in saving lives,” Crowley said.
The church is located at 93-20 91st Ave. in Woodhaven. Tickets can be purchased online at www.projectwoodhaven.com. The dinner will begin at 5 p.m.