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Left to right: Squad President George Gremminger, Snd Lt. Ed Citron, Capt. COlleen Kelly and Beacon Hill rep Alexander Mueller

LEONARDO – Members of the Beacon Hill Country Club made their fifth in a series of donations to local volunteer and emergency units Saturday when they delivered boxes of food, beverages gloves and masks to the Leonardo First Aid Squad.

“All of these donations are so appreciated,” said Squad president George Gremminger of the volunteer unit. “The entire community has been so thoughtful and generous.” He noted that Thornberry’s Appliance donated a washing machine to the squad, a squad member donated a clothes dryer, and one squad member, Ellen Isaksen, is making masks for squad members.

Colleen Kelly-Leahy, a captain in the First Aid Squad, said the food and water donations are especially appreciated since squad members volunteer for specific times in which they stay in the squad building on Viola Ave to be prepared for any emergency.  Volunteers regularly are at the squad building ten hours a day on weekends and nights to avoid any delays in answering emergency calls.

Gremminger and Second Lieutenant Edward Citron also noted that while there has not been a great increase in the number of calls during the pandemic, the time each squad member spends on a call has been increased to an average of 90 minutes because of the need to prepare specifically for the pandemic and to scrub down the ambulance after use to ensure no chance of contamination.

Masks and gloves are used either by volunteers who need them as well as for residents who have to be transported to the hospital and are not equipped. Hospital admissions required proper coverage, the captain noted. 

Alexander Mueller, General Manager at the Country Club, said all the meals donated to the squad are prepared in the Country Club kitchen at the clubhouse on Beacon Hill Rd. in Atlantic Highlands. The mask and glove as well as beverages are purchased with funds donated by the more than 350 members of the club. Beacon Hill is historic in the Bayshore area, having been first established in 1899.

Mueller said the generosity of club members has enabled the club to make two donations to staff at Riverview Hospital, as well as donations to the Middletown Police Department and the Atlantic Highlands Police Department. “And the club will continue to assist any of the men and women who are working so hard during this pandemic as long as possible. Our members have been generous and are grateful for the services these volunteers and front line workers perform on a daily basis.”