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Greenfield Community College

GCC student vets launch ramp project

GREENFIELD — The veterans group at Greenfield Community College has until the end of the month to raise half of the $5,000 it needs to build two or three ramps for disabled Franklin County residents.

VetNet, a club for student veterans at GCC, got the idea after a member’s mother gave him a brochure about Stavros, a local organization that helps people with disabilities develop the tools and skills they need to live independent lives.

“The vets at GCC wanted to do community service,” said VetNet President JD McCaughey. “We got in touch with Stavros and came up with our project, The Ramp Project.”

McCaughey said VetNet’s effort is part of Stavros’s Home Sweet Home Project.

“All of the officers of VetNet talked about it, and then we brought it to the entire group,” said McCaughey. “Everyone loved the idea.”

The group gave itself one semester to raise $5,000, so that it could build two or three ramps for disabled people here in the county, he said.

McCaughey said VetNet has held several fundraisers, including bake sales, a spaghetti dinner, raffles, and more since the first of the year, and so far, it has raised half of what it needs.

“We need to raise a little over $2,500 by May 31,” he said.

The first ramp VetNet will build — it has enough money at this point to do so — will be for a retired veteran who lives in Orange and has trouble getting around, said McCaughey.

“We wanted to build a ramp for at least one vet,” he said. “We’ll decide about the other person or two when we know for sure what we’ve raised and what we can afford to do.”

McCaughey said the money the group raises will be used to pay an engineer to design the ramp or ramps, and a contractor to pull all of the permits that will be needed before construction can begin. The group will also have to pay for any materials it needs, unless it finds someone to donate them.

“It will be a volunteer force of laborers who will build the ramps,” said McCaughey. “Members of VetNet, as well as other GCC students, have already expressed interest.”

McCaughey said VetNet will present Stavros with the money it has raised at the end of this month or beginning of next.

“Then, we’ll start making plans to complete the project,” he said.

To donate:

For more information or to make a donation, call VetNet at 413-775-1882. VetNet is also on Facebook and at: www.gcc.mass.edu/veterans. Also, email: vetnet@gcc.mass.edu.

Give directly online at: http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/ramp-project.

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