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Abilities Foundation Newsletter
November 2013
Did you know?

 
Bay Pines VA Hospital renamed C.W. Young Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center  

With the passing of Congressman C.W. "Bill" Young, we lost a patriot, leader, and dear friend of the military, veterans, and the Tampa Bay area. And what a friend he was of Abilities, the Foundation, and Warrior Bridge, always willing to help us with a problem or donate American flags flown over the Capitol. In honor of Bill Young's decades-long and distinguished record of service to veterans, the Bay Pines VA Hospital was renamed the C.W. Young Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center...

Spanish winemaker Manolo Pardo De Donlebun (shown below with Nermine and Les Rubin) headlined the sold-out Spanish/Portuguese Dinner & Live Auction at Sea Dog Brewing Company in Clearwater that netted the Foundation $4,560...

 

Led by founder Virginia Meyer, Veterans Mall organizers have now served 485 veterans and have expanded their free distribution of kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom essentials to veterans served by St. Vincent De Paul in St. Petersburg and the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa. The ServiceSource North Carolina Regional Office has replicated the Mall and recently served its first combat-wounded veteran... 

We continue to make progress in establishing a 24' pavilionas the centerpiece of the Veterans Victory Garden on the vacant lot in front of our building. Thanks to the pro bono services of Ra´┐Żon & Partners, Inc. (architectural design by Bruce Houghton), George F. Young, Inc. (civil engineering by Jonathon Gotwold), and Joseph Mobley (Class-A general  contractor), we have architectural drawings and are preparing to submit a site plan to Pinellas County Building & Development Review Services. Stay tuned

 

Tax-planning tip: Create, revise your will now  

 

A properly executed will is an essential part of your estate plan. If you have a will, and you certainly should, it's important to review it periodically to ensure it accurately reflects your current circumstances and wishes, particularly if your financial or personal situation has changed. Occurrences that might necessitate a change in your will include marriage, divorce, new children, death or incapacitation of a beneficiary or personal representative, moving out of state, reverse of financial fortune, or tax law revisions. It is advisable to have an attorney who's competent in developing and executing estate plans prepare or revise your will. For information on how to provide for your loved ones and the Abilities Foundation through your will or bequest, contact Frank De Lucia at 727-600-8900. 

 

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Scott Owens named Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero
Abilities Foundation Awarded $50,000!
   

 

In recognition of his military service, civilian accomplishments, and staunch advocacy for hiring disabled veterans, Scott Owens was nominated by the Abilities Foundation, and honored as a Community Hero by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation. At all 40 home games, the Lightning salutes an unsung hero who's made a positive impact in the community, and donates $50,000 to the charity of their choice. At the November 7th Lightning vs. Oilers tilt, 18,564 fans viewed a riveting video account of Scott's ascent from a severely wounded and combat-stressed Army infantryman with no job prospects, to a veteran's job placement specialist with the Bay Pines VA Hospital and celebrated warrior ambassador. In appreciation of the help he received from us while adjusting to civilian life, Scott directed the $50,000 award to the Abilities Foundation, which will be used to fund ServiceSource veteran's employment services. What a magnanimous gesture! Prior to the game, he was given a VIP tour of the locker room, rode the pine (sat on the bench) during warm-ups, and was photographed with Lightning COO Steve Griggs and stalwarts Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcell. Scott enjoyed the game and a Lightning win with his wife Shannon and Foundation friends in the Lightning Community suite courtesy of Jabil. Our sincerest thanks to Foundation executive director Elizabeth Frazier (shown above left with Shannon and Scott Owens), Lightning owners Jeff and Penny Vinik, and Jabil for their validation of our mission and faith in our ability to improve lives, one wounded veteran at a time. Click here to view photos, and click here to watch the video.  

Disability rights advocate receives home renovation

 

The Foundation seized a rare opportunity to serve a disabled female veteran and fiercely loyal Home Depot customer in Pinellas Park. Angel Watson is a medically and honorably discharged nine-year U. S. Air Force veteran who specialized in intelligence in Japan and the UK. She's also a longtime and widely respected disability rights advocate who's helped countless Floridians and veterans become more independent. Angel has paraplegia, which necessitates the use of a wheelchair for mobility. Having retired two years ago, she has limited income and relies on a service dog and therapy dog for help with activities of daily living. From her wheelchair, she's done a fabulous job of modifying the interior of her home, but needed help with backyard access, security fencing, pet doors, landscaping, and more. Thanks to a Home Depot Foundation grant, Pinellas Park store manager Denise Moore, team captain Tommy Gillis, and 15 dedicated store volunteers, her home was rendered safe, secure, and fully-accessible within a span of a 10 days. So gratifying to give back to someone who's done so much for others! Thanks as well to Jamie Connolly and Jersey Mike's Subs for catering the final project day free of charge. Click here for photos.

2013 Service Excellence Awards      


Among those recognized for exemplary work at the annual ServiceSource Service Excellence Awards Luncheon in St. Petersburg were Community Partners of the Year T. J. Maxx and The TJX Foundation, Bill Bragg; Mr. Bill's Fine Foods, Bill and Marsha Uhler; and Abilities Guild Veterans Mall, Virginia Meyer. Earning awards for Corporate Citizens of the Year were Dining Out Radio, Ken Van Baber and Bill Zuben; Bright House Networks, Brian Aungst; and Sumner Communications, Rob Sumner (shown at right). The Home Depot was named Community Employer of the Year. Community Employees of the Year included Carl Sjostrom and Brandon Kennemore, Warrior Bridge; Tyler Moore, Supported Employment; and Andrew MacWilliams, Community Placement.

Congratulations to our honorees! Click here for details.
Treats from the Puderbaughs
  Tom and Roslyn Puderbaugh put the treat back in Trick or Treat! That's right. On Halloween, the Puderbaughs and financial advisors from Waddell & Reed delivered carloads of business suits and men's and women's dress clothes to the Foundation in support of the Veterans Mall.  In addition, advisors contributed $1,520, which Tom and Roz matched dollar-for-dollar, vaulting the total donation to $3,040! They also witnessed Mall organizers serving the first veteran referred from St. Vincent De Paul. That's a Halloween to remember! Many thanks to the Puderbaughs and Waddell & Reed advisors.

 Thoughts & Prayers List... 
Several of the Foundation faithful have been ill of late or have undergone surgery. Please keep Gloria Hollingsworth, Kevin Southcott, Sonja Mettee, Marsha Uhler, Dolores Wallace, Marie Kotsch, Darlene Sullivan, Shirley Gorrell, Dorie Sampson, Eddie Jordan, Lee and Sara Neal, and Sharon O'Gradney in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you!