Pasta Party to Benefit WRHVAC

Pasta Party to Benefit WRHVAC

The Woodhaven Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps is in desperate need of funding since being forced to vacate its Jamaica Avenue headquarter when its neighboring building partially collapsed last year.  Photo by Phil Corso

The Woodhaven Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps is in desperate need of funding since being forced to vacate its Jamaica Avenue headquarter when its neighboring building partially collapsed last year. Photo by Phil Corso

The top portion of 78-19 Jamaica Ave. collapsed more than one year ago, but the Woodhaven Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps is still buried in the rubble.

 
A number of expenses have dug the volunteer group into a deep financial hole and community leaders said it might never be able to dig itself out. Elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn), state Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), state Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) and City Council members Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth) and Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) teamed up to partner with the Woodhaven Residents Block Association to host a fundraiser for the corps.
“When the bricks fell from the top story of the Jamaica Avenue building, it had a ripple affect across our community. WRHVAC has been a vital piece to assisting in emergencies and just helping people during their day-to-day lives. Their work and commitment provided us all with a sense of ease, and now our main focus is getting that back and get them back on their feet,” Addabbo said. “This isn’t just about the Corps, this is about everybody.”
 
A 1950s-style pasta dinner was scheduled for Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. inside the Emanuel United Church of Christ in Woodhaven at 93-20 91st Ave. Tickets to the event could be purchase at projectwoodhaven.com, officials said.
 
“It has been well over 500 days since our beloved ambulance 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. “It is a disgrace that the owner of the building located at 78-19 Jamaica Ave. has failed to take responsibility for fixing the building. We must fight to get our ambulance corps back in its building so it can continue to serve the residents of this community and so our seniors at the senior center can return to their home.”
The Jamaica Avenue accident broke through the ambulance corps’ wall and the building has grown moldy as water continues to creep in. After losing its main source of income, a senior center that rented the space, the cost of repair was too steep for the volunteers to meet, and damages are only getting worse as more time passes.
 
“With the city’s response times to medical emergencies at an unacceptable high, the Woodhaven Richmond Hill Ambulance Corps provides vital supplemental emergency services in our community,” Crowley said. “We need to come together to make sure we don’t lose this important partner in saving lives.”
While waiting for the building’s owner, George Kochabe, to complete the court-mandated rebuilding, these funds can give WHRVAC the resources needed to return, the WRBA 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.
By The Forum staff
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