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Workers recover Howard Beach vol’s body

Just days after Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps member Richard Pearlman’s body was recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center, Community Board 6 honored a group of students who helped raise money for a brand new ambulance dedicated to the 18-year-old’s memory.

Pearlman’s body was identified last week after he was found along with many other rescue workers at the Twin Towers site.

At its meeting March 26, CB 6 honored young people from the Forest Hills Community House Beacon Program at JHS 190 for raising funds to help replace the fully equipped ambulance lost by the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps in the collapse of Tower Two of the World Trade Center.

The student performers, who ranged in age from elementary to high school students, were able to raise more than $300 for the ambulance corps at a Dec. 7 talent show comprised of more than a dozen acts featuring music, dance and comedy. With proceeds from the talent show and other community contributions, the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps purchased a new ambulance, which was dedicated to the memory of Pearlman, who lived in Howard Beach, at a Dec. 16 ceremony.

Joseph Hennessy, chairman of CB 6, presented the students with certificates of appreciation for their efforts.

“Sadly, what happened on Sept. 11 showed us what one human being is capable of doing against another human being,” he said. “These young people helped restore our faith in humanity and showed us that there is good in the world and in the community.”

Talent show organizers Mario Tapia and Marlena Starace accepted the awards on behalf of their peers.

“We heard about the ambulance being ruined and wanted to help because the corps is something that really helps everyone in the community,” said Starace, who was the show’s artistic director. “We were glad to help make something good happen.”

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Sept. 11, members of the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps responded to a call for assistance at the Twin Towers. At 10:05 a.m. the company’s ambulance was crushed beneath the rubble of Tower Two on West Street.

The two crew members on duty at the time escaped without major injuries, but Pearlman, who was running an errand at 1 Police Plaza, phoned his family to say he was headed to the disaster site and was killed administering first aid to victims.

Funeral services for Pearlman were held Sunday at Sinai Chapels in Fresh Meadows. He was buried at Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, N.Y.

Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

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