The US Post Office delivered a stunning surprise to the Chatham Emergency Squad last week. Enclosed with a letter from Susan Lenz, President of the Stanley Congregational Church, the Squad received a check for $10,000 in memory of Bill Cooper, longtime member of the church and a life member of the Chatham Emergency Squad.
The Church, which closed its doors in December 2019 following 152 years of dedicated service to the Chatham community, decided to distribute legacy contributions now rather than waiting for the finalization of the transfer of ownership of the Church building.
"Gifts were made in honor of some of its members who had a significant role as a volunteer with organizations, such as the Chatham Emergency Squad, whose missions are aligned with Stanley's ideals and principles." Ms. Lenz stated in her letter.
Cooper was a member of the Friday day crew for more than a decade and was both well-liked and well-respected. He was particularly fond of the Squad's presence at the annual 4th of July parade and frequently drove the ambulance even after he'd stopped active service with the Squad; he continued serving as an Auxiliary Member until the time of his death in 2004.
One of Cooper's most memorable gifts to the Squad was his knowledge of technology. In the history of the Squad document he created, life member Dick Richards wrote this about Cooper: "Computer enthusiast Bill Cooper joined the Squad in 1986 and shortly had a computer set up in the Borough Squad building. It didn’t take long before record after record was computerized. Call records, membership lists, various Squad forms have now been hidden away in the computer and miraculously appear at the push of the right keys.”
The Chatham Emergency Squad has served the needs of the Chathams for 84 years. As an all-volunteer squad that relies almost 100% on contributions from the community, a gift of this level makes an enormous positive impact.
“Expenses associated with personal protective equipment (PPE) and new decontamination equipment to ensure Squad members' safety during the COVID-19 pandemic have placed a tremendous burden on the Squad's budget and this gift serves as a valued relief to that pressure,” said Evan Skinner, President of the Chatham Emergency Squad. “It is particularly appreciated, coming as it does amidst the Squad's 2020 Fund Drive, especially as efforts were initially suspended, so as to focus on the pandemic preparedness and safety precautions.”
About The Chatham Emergency Squad
The Chatham Emergency Squad is an all-volunteer organization funded nearly exclusively by donations. In 2019 the Chatham Emergency Squad responded to 1246 emergency calls in Chatham Township and Chatham Borough and provided mutual aid to neighboring communities of New Vernon, Madison and Summit on occasion. Chatham Emergency Squad never charges for its services. The Squad provides stand-by support for community events, such as the Chatham Turkey Trot, Fishawack, and school athletic events. The Squad also provided free CPR training to more than 400 residents, teachers, coaches, school crossing guards and emergency personnel, including fire and police. To learn more, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.chathamemergencysquad.org.