Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 02-18-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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14 THE VALLEY FEBRUARY 18-24, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION Local business owners donating used car to veteran WOONSOCKET – Bill Gately and Dave Lambert, co-owners of Henri's Auto Repair on Park Avenue in Woonsocket, are hoping to put a new set of keys in the hands of one local veteran. On March 8, the business own- ers will draw a name from a list of local veterans in need. The winner will receive a 2001 Ford Taurus that recently underwent a full overhaul by the repair shop. Gately explained the initiative started in 2019 when a customer was looking to get rid of an old car. The repair shop accepted the vehicle but instead of junking it, they enlisted the help of a local auto parts store to con- tribute parts. After some hard work on the part of their staff, the vehicle was ready to head back onto the road and make a difference for a veteran. "It only sets us back time," he explained. "As far as we're con- cerned, we're lucky enough to have a business that's surviving through this pandemic thing. Let's pass it on." That first vehicle went to a 24-year Marine veteran who had lost his apartment in Woonsocket and was living in a camper in Connecticut. Now, for their second donation, Gately said they're looking to find another veteran who could use a leg up. "We basically just take a car that's still roadworthy but needs the work and put the work into it and donate it," he said. To compile the list of names, they've partnered with New Englanders Helping Our Veterans, a nonprofit organization based out of Burrillville. Jim Collins, president of the organization and a U.S. Army veteran, said they'd received 60 applications as of Monday. Collins vets the applications and puts the names into a raffle to be drawn on March 8 during a live broadcast on WOON Radio. "We help the guys who fall between the cracks, mostly," he added. Gately said the drawing is open to all area veterans who demonstrate a need for a free vehicle. His own father-in-law served during World War II, while his brother-in-law served in Vietnam and his nephew in Iraq. "These are people who have served our country, served it well," he said. "There's not enough help out there for them. I see veterans sleeping in the street, and that's something that bothers me." This latest vehicle, he said, came to the shop by way of a customer who'd put over 200,000 miles on it com- muting to Boston. While it's had its share of use, Gately said it's a solid vehicle that could have a second life in the hands of a new owner. The repair shop staff put close to $4,000 worth of work into it between labor and parts donated by their sponsors, including Autoparts International, Inferno Audio, North Smithfield Auto Body, New England Farms, WOON Radio and the Gamache family. For those who don't prove lucky in this drawing, Gately said they've already got a vehicle lined up for their next donation. They're hoping to raffle that vehicle off in a drawing on Veterans Day in November. Veterans interested in submitting their names can contact Collins at mediarelations@nehov.org or call Henri's Auto Repair at 401-762-2325. By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Deputy Editor lauren@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM BILL GATELY, left, and DAVE LAMBERT, right, own- ers of Henri's Auto Repair in Woonsocket, are pictured with JIM COLLINS, president of New Englanders Helping Our Veterans, in front of the 2001 Ford Taurus they plan to raffle off to a veteran. Drawing to be held March 8 Lajoie will serve as president/CEO of Somerset Federal Credit Union CUMBERLAND – The Somerset Federal Credit Union has announced that Pamela Mello will retire as president and CEO effec- tive Jan. 15, and Joseph Lajoie, cur- rently executive vice president and chief financial officer at Greenwood Credit Union in Warwick, will fill the role. Lajoie, of Cumberland, joins the SFCU with over 20 years of experience in banking and finance, with most of his career at credit unions, states a press release. He has been with Greenwood Credit Union since 2007, where he started as senior vice pres- ident/chief financial officer and was promoted in 2017 to executive vice president and chief financial officer, overseeing the finance, IT, loan and deposit operations departments. Lajoie previously served as assistant vice president/control- ler at Navigant Credit Union in Smithfield, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the accounting department. He is a 1994 summa cum laude graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, where he received a bachelor of science in account- ing degree. He has also achieved the certified chief executive officer designation from the Credit Union Executive Society. "This is an exciting opportunity for me to lead a long-standing insti- tution with a reputation for provid- ing exemplary service to its mem- bers," Lajoie said. "With the support of SFCU's members, employees and Board of Directors, I look forward to building on Pamela's success with introducing innovative products and leading the Credit Union to even higher achievements in providing banking solutions to our members." LAJOIE OSTER law offices TRUSTED FOR THREE GENERATIONS Robert D. Oster, Esq. Are you prepared? Toilet paper Face Mask Hand Sanitizer Estate Plan Let our family help you protect your family assets with an estate plan. Call now for a free virtual or in person consultation. Rhode Island does not have a procedure for certification or recognition of specialization by lawyers. Estate Planning 640 George Washington Hwy. Building B, Suite 103, P.O. Box 22003 Lincoln, RI 02865 ~ Free Consultations ~ ATTORNEYS & COUNSELORS AT LAW 724-2400 Website: OsterLawOffices.com Learn more about the local businesses in your area in next week's special section published on February 24th & 25th. 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