November 21, 2001

Latino Leaders Set-Up Fund for Victims of Flight 587

This week, leaders from New York City's Latino community gathered outside the front of the Jacob Javits Center to announce the formation of a fund to aid the victims' families of American Airlines flight 587. They were joined in the announcement by representatives of Verizon and United Way of New York City.

"We felt the Javits Center, which has been the headquarters for emergency services for victims of the September 11th attacks and now tragically, the crash of flight 587, was the most appropriate spot for
this announcement," said Lor-raine Cortes-Vazquez, President of the Hispanic Federation. "We are so pleased by the outpouring of support shown by corporations, public officials, and individual New Yorkers."

The name of the fund is "Ayuda a la Victimas Del Vuelo 587" (Flight 587 Relief Effort). It was set up by the Hispanic Federation, thanks to contributions by American Express, Verizon, and United Way of New York City. Verizon and United Way each contributed $100,000, and American Express contributed $25,000. In addition, Verizon is planning to provide a 2 to 1 match on each of their employees' contributions to the fund.

"The tragedy of flight 587 has touched the hearts of Verizon employees and customers in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic - particularly since Codetel, the Dominican Re-public's leading telecommunications provider, is a Verizon affiliate," said Fares Salloum, President-International, the Americas for Verizon. "We hope that our contribution by Verizon International Foundation will help the victims' families during this difficult time."

"Ayuda a la Victimas Del Vuelo 587" will be used to support the emergency assistance services of Alianza Dominicana, Audubon Partnership for Economic Development, Community Association of Progressive Dominicans, Dominican Wo-men's Development Center, El Puente, and other organizations, which serve the Dominican community. In addition, the Hispanic Federation will conduct a series of public service announcements to educate the public on ways to contribute.

"The Dominican Development Center is extremely saddened by this terrible tragedy which has affected our community," said Rosita Romero, Executive Director of the Dominican Women's Development Center. "Our heart and prayers are with the families of the victims and we want them to know
that we are here to assist them."

"In the wake of the tragedy of Flight 587, the Hispanic Federation has turned to us to help meet the needs of not only those directly affected, but the community as well. It is gratifying to be able to provide our fund raising and technical expertise, as well as a grant to the Hispanic Federation that enables them to provide grief counseling and case management services for those who need help" said Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive for Agency Services, United Way of New York City.

A monetary contribution can be made to "Ayuda a la Victimas Del Vuelo 587" at any Banco Popular using the account number: 0909000057352. In San Diego County, Banco Popular is located at 645 H Street, Chula Vista, Ph 619-409-4160.

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