The children of the African Dream Academy are very excited about the New Year’s gift they received from the Rotary Club of Yonkers – East Yonkers. The 62-seater bus arrived at the port of Monrovia in early December. After customs clearance, Club Member Sam Enders, Founder of the African Dream Academy received the bus and made sure it reached the academy premises in good condition. The bus is 36 feet long and weighs 18,000 pounds. It was built in 2001, has about 110,000 miles and had recently been inspected by the Department of Transportation, before shipment.
Sam Enders had been working on alleviating the sufferings caused by the Ebola virus in Liberia. The African Dream Academy had a bus which had been turned over to the local hospital to be converted into an ambulance because the hospital had no ambulance for its patients. The Club decided to step in and send a bus to the children who had donated their only bus. In a message to Sam Enders, Club President Rev, J. Loren Russell hoped the bus would “provide more than mobile transport, but will bring your students to places and heights your students could have never imagined.”
Nick and Phil Vallone, who own a bus company in Yonkers donated the used bus from their inventory to the Club. Then began the process of shipping the bus to its destination. The Club undertook and organized a successful fundraiser at the Yonkers Brewing Company to raise funds for shipping the bus. It was an amazing partnership that came together to make it happen. The bus company not only donated the bus, they fixed it up and had it driven to the dock in New Jersey. The donation from the Bus Company, the Club’s Fundraiser and the New York Foundation all came together to bring this project to fruition.
Club Membership Chair, Jeffrey Landsman, as project lead, ensured that the project remained on track, while Michael Frank organized the successful Fundraiser. Many other members were involved in various phases of the project.