UAW donates passenger van to help veterans in Western New York get to their medical appointments


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AMHERST, New York — Veterans in Western New York sometimes have difficulty getting to their medical appointments. Their journeys are now made a little easier with today’s donation of a 12-passenger van from the UAW Western New York Region 9 Veterans Committee.

The keys to the Ford Transit van were officially handed over from UAW Western New York Veterans Committee Chairman Guy Newell to administrators at the nearby Bath Veterans Administration Vans for VetsMedical Center.

“Our members are very caring and very giving at all of our plants,” Newell said as government license plates were being installed on the van, which has a sticker price of more than $33,000.

The committee raises money through gate collections at UAW-represented workplaces in the region. It also hosts a Veterans Appreciation 5K Run, its largest fundraiser. Last year nearly 200 runners participated and more than $16,000 was raised. This year’s event is set for noon on Nov. 5, at UAW Local 686 in Lockport, New York.

The UAW Western New York Region 9 Veterans Committee also supports numerous area veterans’ organizations with labor and funds. It previously donated a van to the Bath hospital and to the Buffalo chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.

“This is a great event here today,” said UAW Region 9 Director Terry Dittes. “The veterans’ committee here in Region 9 does so many great things. But the one thing that sticks in my mind is they do it from the heart.”

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