August 24, 2002 - Florida Times Union: PCV Larry Tremonti bringing books to Romania

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 08 August 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: August 24, 2002 - Florida Times Union: PCV Larry Tremonti bringing books to Romania

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 1:48 pm: Edit Post

PCV Larry Tremonti bringing books to Romania

Read and comment on this story from the Florida Times Union on PCV Larry Tremonti who is organizing a campaign with his hometown to bring books to Romania at:

Blue Cross workers collect books to send to Romania *

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Blue Cross workers collect books to send to Romania

Former employee asked for help

Aug 24, 2002 - Florida Times Union

Author(s): Phillip J. Milano, River City News Editor

Larry Tremonti turned a new page in his life two years ago, and now it's paid off in the form of piles of free books for the people of Romania.

After Tremonti retired as medical director for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida in Jacksonville, he and his wife joined the Peace Corps, where he helps with business development.

While working in Romania last February, he sent a request to his former co-workers at Blue Cross, wondering if they might be interested in helping lessen the severe shortage of reading material in the Eastern European country.

Oh, did they hit the books.

For the next four months, workers at Blue Cross' Deerwood Campus and across the state searched yard sales, raided their own collections and asked friends for donations. By the end, they had amassed 7,000 books, ranging from children and adult selections to reference books, pleasure reading and more. A large book donation from the Nassau County Public Library's Friends of the Library rounded out the collection.

The books were reviewed by Blue Cross' Business Research Information Center for quality and suitability, then packaged by Blue Cross shipping and receiving personnel and shipped off on two huge pallets Tuesday. They should arrive in Romania this week.

"Our employees spearheaded the book drive," said Bruce Middlebrooks, a spokesman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. "I don't think anybody expected such a great response."

Least of which was Tremonti.

In an e-mail sent from Romania Monday to drive organizer Bob Grant at Blue Cross, Tremonti said the company's generosity was "well-appreciated."

"It provides the opportunity for library users throughout the county of Salaj in Romania and children in a number of orphanages here to be able to get English books of all types: history, science, literature and even fiction," Tremonti wrote. "In a country that teaches English to all children now beginning in the first grade for some, it is a great chance for the teachers and their students to access these books and to learn from our American literature."

The Blue Cross effort received a major boost when Yellow Transportation of Jacksonville agreed to ship the books at a cut- rate, Middlebrooks said, trimming thousands of dollars off the shipping cost. Estimates from other shippers had come in as high as $15,000.

"The BCBSF contribution means that residents of Zalau and Salaj County will have access to one of the best selections of English reading materials in Romania," Tremonti wrote in his e-mail. "It is a great opportunity to show the interest and generosity of Floridians and employees of BCBSF."

River City News Editor Phillip J. Milano can be reached at 359- 4483 or

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; PCVs in the Field; COS - Romania



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