Help ELES, buy a tree

ELIZABETHTOWN The Elizabethtown-Lewis Emergency Squad (ELES) is hoping that those looking for a tree might consider helping trim down the costs of their major construction project. Jodi and Doug Downs of Keene Valley have been selling Christmas trees in Elizabethtown with part of the proceeds going toward the construction of the ELESs planned new facility in Lewis. Doug Downs, captain of the Keene Valley Ambulance Squad, said he suggested the idea to Patty Bashaw, president of the ELES. He has received much of his training in the past from Bashaw, and wanted to show his gratitude and his belief in the work done by the volunteers. In the middle of the night, when the pager goes off, volunteer EMS and fire services respond. No where else in the world are we as efficient and effective as we are in the North Country, said Doug Downs. The Downs have brought about 120 trees down from their tree farm in Chateaguay. The trees cost between $30-65 and are being sold Thursday and Friday from 2-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. until Christmas or supply runs out. Doug Downs said at least 10 percent of the proceeds would go to ELES. He said the donation would be in the $500 ballpark. This is so cool because hes not even in this district. We have to take care of each other when you work in small communities like this, said ELES spokeswoman Leslie Fleury. Space for the sale has been provided by the Upstate Insurance owner Mark Carpenter, while nearby resident Slim Wescott has been providing security. The new ambulance building will cost about $225,000, of which about $75,000 needs to be raised. Construction is slated to begin in early 2008.

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