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Pierrepont Volunteer Fire Department collecting for Sandy relief efforts

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PIERREPONT — Members of the Pierrepont Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary are teaming up to collect donated items for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Third Assistant Chief Brett D. Grandaw arrived at the fire hall at approximately 3:15 p.m. Friday. Within minutes, he had already received a table full of donations.

Standing in front of that table and with some other items stacked on the floor, Mr. Grandaw said: “People have just been rolling in. Hopefully they keep on coming.”

Mr. Grandaw said the department has struck a deal with a local U-Haul rental business that will provide free trucks to deliver the donations. “All we need to do is buy the gas,” he said.

Mr. Grandaw said the donations will be delivered to the New York City area sometime before Thanksgiving, with a couple of organizations serving as potential recipients.

“We’ll touch base with them and see what their needs are at the time,” he said. “My guess is we’ll probably go to Rockaway. That’s one of the more heavily damaged areas.”

Warm clothing, hats, mittens, socks, baby items, over-the-counter medicines, nonperishable foods, cleaning supplies and pet items are being collected.

“I could talk for an hour about what they need,” he said.

Mr. Grandaw said he hopes to have the fire hall staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the next couple of weeks, but anyone who arrives to drop off a donation when no one is there can leave items at the back door. “There will be people stopping by to check,” he said.

People in the Massena area are also invited to drop off donations at either Frenchie’s Ford or Frenchie’s Chevrolet.

A similar effort was launched this week by several business owners in Potsdam. Real “Frenchie” Coupal has challenged the Massena community to collect more than Potsdam.

People may contribute to those efforts between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday next week.

To track the efforts, Mr. Grandaw has set up a Facebook page, “Pierrepont Sandy Relief.”

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