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St Croix hosting dozens of firefighters

John Collins

United community action in USVI providing vacations for New York’s finest who served in 9-11 catastrophe.

Dozens of New York City firefighters and their families are enjoying the hospitality of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) this winter as they recuperate from the ordeal thanks to generosity and community action on the island.

In December five firefighters and their families were initially brought down to St. Croix from New York for all-expense paid vacations and the community is now preparing to welcome another 25 firefighters and their families, according to organizer Chuck Ulrich.

Donations raised by the group of St. Croix residents covers the air fares, lodging and much of their entertainment on the island. “As the word has spread in New York we have been getting more and more requests from other firefighters as well as policemen and emergency medical personnel,” said Ulrich. “But at some point we’ve got to cut this off.”

Coordinating the free rentals is Vacations St. Croix where owner Marti Gotts lists their villas’  regular cost at $2,000 to $4,500 weekly. Gotts said that 90% of the unit owners donated their seaside luxurious villas for the cause.

“In addition to free food and drink, they are being provided with kayaking, snorkeling and tours of Buck Island,” said Gotts. “There are also donations of rental cars, tours, art, music, dinners ,massages, golf, you name it.”

American Airlines has offered discounted fares to the firefighters and their families and the USVI Department of Tourism has agreed to donate the money for the next group of 25 firefighters.

People interested in supporting the worthy cause may donate to the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development, Chandlers Wharf Bldg., Gallows Bay, St. Croix, USVI 00820 or by contacting Ulrich at (340)773 1902 or online at www.St.Croix.net.

January 21, 2001

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