A wonderful blessing. That is what Lillian “Penny” Butler, 82, and her daughter Alison said of their newly built wheelchair ramp at her Metuchen home.
Several members of the Metuchen Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 60 stand next to the new ramp they built for the Butler family in November.”I had fallen, and the police came to help me up,” said Butler. “They saw that there was difficulty for me to get in and out of my home.”
That is how the Metuchen Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 60 became involved in building a wheelchair ramp for the Butler family.
With the help of Bob Murphy Construction, Hillside Construction, Kit Kicani from ASAP Construction, Ideal Construction and Marcille Architecture, several police officers set out to make a wheelchair ramp for the Butlers.
“Some of us have backgrounds in construction,” said PBA Vice President Vincent Russo.
Russo said the PBA collectively decided to take it upon themselves to build the ramp.
“With the economy the way it is, we decided this time to physically do this ourselves,” he said.
Along with Russo, Cpl. James Burns, Cpl. Tony Carro and his son Mike, Patrolman Kevin Doherty, Sgt. Arthur Flaherty, and Detective J.P. Therrien gathered together last month and built the ramp. Police Chief James Keane and his wife Olympia’s family-owned restaurant La Rosa’s Pizzeria in Metuchen provided lunch.
Lillian said the new ramp comes at a good time.
“My daughter has a medical condition and she needs serious surgery Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ the new ramp will make it easier for her also,” she said. “I’m extremely happy Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ the police department did a wonderful job.”
Alison added that they are grateful to all who helped build the ramp.
In the past, the PBA has assisted families in the borough in need, including toddler Roman Montalto, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in December 2006, and for Lt. Angelo Donato Jr., who had been with the Metuchen Police Auxiliary for 35 years before he had a massive stroke in 2006.
“We will also help fellow officers and get requests from other police departments if an officer or family member falls ill,” said Patrolman David Liantonio.