HIGHLAND – When members of the Cole family returned recently from a trip to New York City, they found a new addition to their home – a wheelchair ramp – thanks to their community.
Felicia Cole is mother of the singing siblings – Michael, Avery and Nadia – who make up the Voices of Glory, finalists on the recent season of the hit TV series “America’s Got Talent.”
Felicia Cole was the passenger in a minivan that was struck by a drunken driver in 2005. She was left in a coma for nine months and has spent much of her life since in a wheelchair.
At the recent Highland HudsonFest, the Cole family was honored for its success and inspiration. Town of Lloyd Supervisor Ray Costantino heard about what happened to Felicia Cole and reached out to the community. His office received a number of calls from people wanting to help.
“Volunteering is alive and well in Lloyd,” Costantino said.
All the necessary permits were quickly obtained and the plan to build a wheelchair ramp was put into motion. Many individuals donated their time, materials and money to make this possible.
Lloyd resident Ricky Auchmody worked closely with Costantino to organize the construction. He helped fund the completion of the ramp and paving of the driveway.
“I wanted to chip in and help the family,” Auchmody said.
The Coles went from being a two-salary family down to one after Felicia Cole’s accident. The support and effort from different people in the town have helped a great deal.
Daniel and Michael Rosinski of GDanRos & Sons provided contracting services for the ramp.
“We saw them on television and wanted to help them out,” Daniel Rosinski said.
Dean Stanley of Dean’s Paving helped in the completion of blacktopping the driveway.
“I think it’s great anytime I can help out in the community,” Stanley said.
Dean Graziosi of Marlboro helped by donating money.
Others involved included Jeff Palladino of True Value Hardware, Tim and Nick Baker of Baker Brothers Property Management and Dillon Hawks of Scenic Turf Solution.
With the money left over, Costantino said, they plan to work on further improvements.
“We want to make the inside of the house more handicapped accessible for Mrs. Cole,” Costantino said.
The hard work by the volunteers will help make things easier for Cole and her entire family.
“The community really came together for this,” Costantino said.
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