(L to R) Larry Robertson, president of VIC, Rodney Moore, and Anthony Jackson in front of the new VIC office in Queens on Wednesday.
What a difference a Daily News story makes.
A cash-strapped Queens veterans group, initially rebuffed by aides to GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, is now being courted by the hometown real estate mogul.
Trump pledged to pay for a year of office space for the Jamaica-based nonprofit. He also helped it wipe out five months of back rent and utility payments, officials said Wednesday.
“You can’t beat that,” said Larry Robertson, who heads Veterans-in-Command.
While the group declined to say how much it had received, it pays about $ 10,000 a month on rent and utilities to house 29 veterans at three facilities.
Trump’s largesse was in stark contrast to the response the group received in January from his campaign — bumper stickers and requests to attend rallies.
Larry Robertson in the new Veterans in Command office in Queens. The group has struggled to pay its rent, but will now get help from Donald Trump.
“We were in dire straits,” said Rodney Moore, an official at the nonprofit who reached out to Trump before he became a candidate. “We wrote to everyone, including celebrities. We thought of (Trump) because he is from Queens.”
Two weeks after The News highlighted group’s situation, Robertson received a call from apologetic Trump aides.
“They said our mail got mixed up with campaign mail and they wanted to make up for it,” Robertson said. While the group is ecstatic over the donations — and expects a visit from Trump in the coming weeks — they can’t and won’t make any endorsements in the heated race for the White House. “It’s about the veterans,” said Robertson.
A Trump spokeswoman told The News on Wednesday, “I can confirm they were sent a donation, and we are pleased to hear they have received it.”