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Boro pols seek Flt. 587 fund to aid families

Four of the Democratic state senators from Queens are co-sponsoring legislation to create a scholarship fund to benefit the immediate family of victims killed when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in Belle Harbor.

As a tribute to the 265 people who died when the plane crashed en route to the Dominican Republic on Nov. 12, 2001, bill No. S2904, would provide financial assistance to eligible family members who wish to attend any college in New York state.

It was proposed by Sens. George Onorato (D-Long Island City), John Sabini (D-Jackson Heights), Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans), and Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), among eight other senators.

“This terrible airplane crash had a devastating effect on the entire community,” said Smith, who also represents Belle Harbor. “Particularly hard hit were the residents of Rockaway who lost family members and New York’s Dominican-American community, which experienced an especially heavy loss of life as a consequence of this terrible tragedy.”

The scholarship would cover the college expenses up to the total cost of tuition at a State University of New York or a City University of New York school. Recipients would be able to apply the money to a SUNY or CUNY program or any other college in the state.

Immediate survivors of the victims of Flight 587 would be eligible, including the 60 families and more than 200 children who lost loved ones, Smith said.

“This scholarship will serve as a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in this tragedy, while extending to their spouses, children and other dependents the opportunity to attend college and obtain a higher education degree.”

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