Getabout, New Canaan's long-running transportation service for senior and special needs residents, has announced that the New Canaan Exchange Club is renewing its annual partnership donation to the van and mini-van based service.

"We are delighted that the Exchange Club is once again supporting our vital service for New Canaan's transportation-challenged residents," Getabout Board President Bob Witt said. "Although best known for its annual Christmas Tree sales at Kiwanis Park, less well-known is that the Exchange Club has for years been a great supporter of both the Getabout and a number of other fine local organizations."

The New Canaan Exchange Club, an affiliate of the National Exchange Club, is celebrating 100 years of service after its founding in Detroit in 1911. The New Canaan Exchange Club, founded in 1952, has renewed its annual Getabout partnership with a donation of $3,500, up $500 from last year. The recently-announced cutback in Connecticut's past partial funding of Getabout's free Medi-Rides program makes the donation from the Exchange Club all the more important, according to Witt.

In recent years, The Getabout has expanded its range of service to include free nonemergency rides to medical offices in New Canaan and the adjacent towns of Stamford, Norwalk, Darien and Wilton, partially subsidized by the now-reduced State grant. The cost of each round trip to neighboring towns can range from $40 to $70, depending on trip length.

"Since 2000, the New Canaan Exchange has made over $1 million in donations to deserving area organizations. And few organizations are more deserving than Getabout, which for over three decades has helped New Canaan seniors and others with transportation needs maintain active, vital lives in our wonderful community," New Canaan Exchange Club President Vance Ward said. "It would be as hard to imagine New Canaan without the Getabout as to imagine New Canaan without our Christmas trees every year."

The Getabout's four-vehicle fleet offers on-call local transportation on a day-in-advance reservation basis, at a flat one-way suggested donation of $3 within New Canaan, and will provide over 11,000 rides this year. Although partially funded by the Town and the New Canaan Community Foundation, Getabout, a 501C organization, relies primarily on private contributions. Dispatched from its offices by the New Canaan train station, Getabout rides are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 972-RIDE (203-972-7433).

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