JA urges members to support four funds

Jewelers of America, the largest national association of U.S. jewelers, has identified four charities providing relief in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which it urges its members to support, if they chose. The decision was made at the JA executive board meeting Sept. 20.

Those are: The New York State Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, the World Trade Center 9-11 Fund (for firefighters’ families), The Washington D.C. Area Disaster Relief Fund, and the American Red Cross.

JA will inform its readers by letter next week. JA will also post the information on its website (www.jewelers.org) www.jewelers.org). A number of JA members had called JA to ask if it was going to set up its own fund, but senior vice president David Rocha said that the executive board felt that since there are already so many funds and charities set up, it would be better to direct JA members to a few of those already in operation.

Both Rocha and Matthew Runci, JA president and CEO, were both overseas on JA business when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred and weren’t able to fly back until this week.

The executive board meeting on Thursday was conducted by conference call because of the difficulties still involved in domestic flight schedules.

Rocha said no JA members were lost or missing in the destruction that followed the Sept. 11 attacks. However, the JA offices had to evacuated three times in the days following the attacks because of bomb threats to Grand Central Station (next door) and that some jewelers near the former World Trade Center still haven’t been access to their stores.