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Special Bergen Sheriff's Program 'Ramps' Up Assistance For US Army Vet

Karl Eder
Karl Eder Photo Credit: Ashlee Luther (Veterans Affairs Liaison – Borough of Fair Lawn)

Sometimes you don’t have to move heaven – just a little bit of earth -- to help someone in need.

U.S. Army veteran Karl Eder of Fair Lawn has spent much of his adult life serving others, so it was with immense respect and pride that a team of public servants united to assist him.

Ashlee Luther of the Fair Lawn Veterans Affairs Office said she was alerted to Eder's need for a ramp to get in and out of his home by Robert Young, the borough's parks and recreation supervisor, after he'd been contacted by retired mail carrier Frank Garafolo.

Besides his military service, Eder was an active member of the Fair Lawn Police Reserves for a decade and had served as chief of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for New Jersey, she said.

Luther went straight to the office of Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, who operates a “Freedom Accessible Ramp Program” that uses county jail inmates to build runways for local residents with limited mobility.

Sheriff's Officers Lorenzo Migale and Todd Accomando were more than "inclined" to help. They immediately set the wheels in motion and had the project completed within six weeks, Luther said.

The ramp program “restores freedom and dignity to residents with limited mobility,” Cureton said. “It is one of the ways our agency can have an immediate impact and give back to those in need.”

Senior citizens and residents with severe disabilities get priority.

“The labor for ramp measurement, design, and construction is available to any Bergen County resident who provides their own construction materials,” the sheriff said.

Residents could qualify for free or subsidized construction materials if they meet the income requirements of nonprofit agencies that partner with the sheriff’s office, he added.

Those interested can contact the BCSO Community Release Line: (201) 336-3535 or (201) 336-3508.

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