Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Councilman Recchia Sets Up Bensonhurst Fire Victims Fund

To assist the families affected by the devastating fire in Bensonhurst, Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., with the support of Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has joined with the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty to set up the Bensonhurst Fire Victims Fund.

Since the fire early Saturday morning, Councilman Recchia has been meeting with the families, the Guatemalan consulate and local community leaders, including William Lombardo, owner of the Coney Island Memorial Funeral Home, who has generously agreed to help cover the funeral services.

These families lost everything they had,” said Councilman Recchia. “Many of them have only the clothes on their backs, and they need our help. New Yorkers consistently show a charitable spirit when tragedy strikes. We need that charitable spirit right now. I am asking New Yorkers to dig deep into their pockets and help however they can.”

Checks should be made out to “Bensonhurst Fire Victims Fund c/o Met Council” and sent to:

Bensonhurst Fire Victims Fund

c/o Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty

80 Maiden Lane

New York, NY 10038

The fund will be accepting donations to help pay for shelter, clothes, food and other funeral costs for families impacted by the blaze.

I’m honored to join forces with Councilman Recchia, Mayor Bloomberg and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty to help the victims of this devastating fire,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “New Yorkers have come together to generously help those in need in times of tragedy before, and I want to encourage all New Yorkers to do the same for the families affected by this horrific fire.”

Last weekend’s tragic fire in Bensonhurst took five lives and left many others in dire need of our help,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Working together, our Community Affairs Unit, City Council and community organizations like the Met Council is helping these families get the support they need to get their lives back on track. Fire marshals and police investigators acted swiftly and made an arrest yesterday."

Tragedies do not discriminate - they can happen to anyone at any time,” said Rep. Michael McMahon. “As we've seen recently in Haiti, however, in moments of tragedy what matters is how we come together. This horrific fire not only makes us realize how fortunate we are, it also moves us to unite and help the members of our community who have lost everything. The people of Brooklyn are known for their generosity and I hope that everyone will help in whatever way they can. There is no donation too small.”

I commend my colleague, Domenic Recchia, for his leadership in establishing this fund to help those who need it the most right now,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Chair of the Fire & Criminal Justice Committee. “I encourage all New Yorkers to give what they can, and to also take this as an opportunity to make sure their smoke detectors are working properly."