2002-09-21 / Community

Pataki To Host Telethon

For Flight 587 Victims

For Flight 587 Victims

Governor George E. Pataki has announced that he has joined professional baseball stars Sammy Sosa and Pedro Astacio at Shea Stadium to encourage participation in an upcoming Telethon to benefit the families of Flight 587, which will be held at Hostos Community College on October 19.

The Telethon is being organized by the Committee In Memory of Flight 587, a group representing more than 90 families who lost loved ones in the tragic crash. Debbie Medina and Roberto Clemente, Jr. from The Medina and Clemente, Jr. Group will be coordinating and producing the telethon program on behalf of the Committee. "The tragic crash of Flight 587 was a tremendous blow to our Dominican Community, to the people of Queens, and to all New Yorkers," Governor Pataki said. "Together with Sammy Sosa and Pedro Astacio, I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in this wonderful effort to help the families who are suffering as a result of this terrible tragedy. New Yorkers have always responded with generous hearts to help those in need and I'm confident this Telethon will be a major success."

Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs and Pedro Astacio of the New York Mets will be helping the effort by signing 50 baseballs and baseball cards that will be given to the first 50 people who donate more than $250 to the Telethon.

Sammy Sosa said, "As a Dominican, I feel the pain my community is enduring after this terrible crash. I ask all New Yorkers and people from around the country to be part of this effort to lessen the need of the Flight 587 victims' relatives."

Pedro Astacio said,  "We are asking all New Yorkers to come forward to help the Dominican Community in this time of difficulties and pain. As a Dominican and as a New Yorker, I encourage everyone to be part of this Telethon."

Rufino Hernandez, President of the Committee in Memory of Flight 587 said, "The Committee would like to express its profound gratitude to Governor Pataki, Sammy Sosa and Pedro Astacio for supporting the Telethon being organized by the Committee. Also, we would like to thank the Hostos Community College and CUNY for helping the Committee organize the October 19th event."

Debbie Medina said, "This year marks the 30th anniversary of Hall-of-Famer and humanitarian, Roberto Clemente Walker, who also died in a plane crash while embarking on a relief effort.  We believe it is important to be able to be there for the families of the victims of Flight 587.

Roberto Clemente, Jr. and I are really honored to be part of this humanitarian effort."

The Telethon will be conducted with the support of private businesses and the sponsorship of CUNY and Hostos Community College. A wide array of community leaders will be working together to help the Committee in Memory of Flight 587.

Jay Hershenson, Vice Chancellor of University Relations for CUNY said, AThe City University of New York is very pleased to work with Governor Pataki in providing support and assistance to help the families of victims of last November's tragedy. CUNY serves over 19,000 Dominican students and plays a central role in their education and quest for success.
We are proud to stand with the Dominican Community in its hour of need.

On November 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587 from New York City to the Dominican Republic crashed in Belle Harbor, Queens, shortly after taking off from John F. Kennedy Airport.

Five Rockaway residents on the ground were killed as well as those on the plane.


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