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Jun 16, 2015 2:50 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Lions Club Installs Ramps for Those in Need

Members of the East Hampton Lions Club installing ramps for the disabled at their homes Bob Schaeffer
Jun 16, 2015 3:58 PM

The East Hampton Lions Club helps the community in ways that often go unnoticed.

Since 2006, the club’s ramp program has improved the quality of life for those who are disabled and have trouble safely and comfortably getting in and out of their homes.

“We are doing a very worthy cause for the community, for the disabled people,” said Bob Schaeffer, president of the East Hampton Lions Club.

The club has 10 full aluminum ramps that are currently helping a dozen people because they are deconstructable—many individuals often do not need the entire ramp to help them. The program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, with the specific purpose of helping those who have been handicapped temporarily. There are also wood ramps used for permanent installations—five have been installed so far, Mr. Schaeffer said.

“It is based on need, and the evaluation has to include how much ramp is needed—the full ramp or half ramp,” he added.

The Lions Club members install the ramps themselves. It is a three-man project to complete in about three to four hours, said Russ “Doc” Calemmo, the program’s founder. He is also an installer. “It’s a lot of work and not something you bang-boom,” said Mr. Calemmo.

Over the years, the Lions Club has installed 200 to 300 ramps, which stay until they are no longer needed. Those who find out about the program usually do so by word of mouth or referrals from agencies in town.

The program has been funded by donations thus far totaling just over $22,000. The Sabin Family Foundation has given $10,000, and the Cummings Foundation has donated $8,000.

Mr. Schaeffer said there is also a significant number of individual donors, especially from those who use the ramps themselves. Still, the most difficult part about the program is fundraising. “There are only so many ramps to go around,” said Mr. Schaeffer. The Lions Club has spent about $7,000 in excess of donations to continue to fund the ramp program.

“The ramp project is a big deal and a big thing,” Mr. Calemmo said. “The people are so grateful.”

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Excellent program. Well done!
By Crabby (63), Southampton on Jun 16, 15 8:35 PM
East Hampton Lions Club is a worthy organization to donate to, with all volunteer workers, ensures monies raised will go back into the community. The lions motto is simply, "We Serve". Look up their Face Book page for a link to make a donation.
By CFI (1), Bridgehampton on Jun 17, 15 5:25 PM