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New van will transport veterans to medical appointments

Photos by Ginny Kropf: A new medical transportation van was delivered to the Orleans County Joint Veterans Council Monday morning. Greg Stanton of Medina did the lettering on the van. Dave Kusmierczak of Medina is in back.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 July 2019 at 3:50 pm

ALBION –  A new Ford van was put into service this week by the Orleans County Joint Veterans Council, bringing their fleet to five vehicles which transport veterans to medical appointments.

Earl Schmidt, director of the Orleans County Veterans Services Agency, said the Joint Veterans Council received enough donations from the community to purchase the new van. This will replace an aging van, he said.

“These vans and their volunteer drivers allow safe travel for veterans to their medical appointments,” Schmidt said.

He commended Greg Stanton for doing the lettering on the van at a fraction of what it actually cost.

The five-passenger van was delivered Monday morning by Rich Beyer, a salesman at Orleans Ford in Medina.

Last year, the veterans’ medical transportation program made 1,000 trips, taking 1,950 veterans to medical appointments. This also represents 6,000 volunteer hours, Schmidt said.

The program has 22 dedicated volunteer drivers, in addition to 11 office volunteers who coordinate trips and take care of paperwork.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can call 589-2856.

Local veterans gather around the new medical transportation van on Monday morning. From left are Gary Befus with the Sheret American Legion Post in Albion; Ron Ayrault of Holley American Legion; John Pera, County Commander and Post Commander of Holley American Legion; Dave Kusmierczak from Butts-Clark American Legion in Medina; Jack Miles of Albion, a volunteer driver; Earl Schmidt, director of the Orleans County Veterans Services Agency and a volunteer driver; Rick Beyer, a salesman with Orleans Ford, who delivered the van; and Fred Heschke, a member of the Butts-Clark American Legion.

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