Faith Hope & Charity   


Abilities Foundation Newsletter

April 2014 

Scott Owens, Hundreds of Veterans Honored by Governor Rick Scott 



Florida is home to more than 1.5 million living military veterans, through whose selfless service and sacrifice we enjoy freedom and liberty. In recognition, Governor Rick Scott visited the C. W. Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center/Florida National Guard Armory in Pinellas Park and presented 286 veterans, including Scott Owens and Frank De Lucia, with the Governor's Veterans Service Award, a medal that depicts the Great Seal of the State of Florida and the five branches of the U.S. Military with an inscription that reads:

Honoring Those Who Served. Click here 

for information.    


May 6 is GiveDay 


The Abilities Foundation is registered to benefit from GiveDay TampaBay -- a one-day online giving challenge from the Florida Next Foundation, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay,and Nonprofit Leadership Center to raise support for nonprofits and target a new generation of givers: 20-40 year-olds. On Tuesday, May 6, donors can click here to support our charitable community and make a gift to the Abilities Foundation or any of the 200 registered nonprofits.

Centerpiece Nears Completion
With the building inspector's stamp of approval, Pinnacle Services of Pinellas is now poised to finish the Veterans Tribute Pavilion with an eye-catching metal roof. The 26-foot square centerpiece was constructed with funding and volunteer labor from GE Aviation and Home Depot employees under the supervision of general contractor Joe Mobley, who complemented the labor pool with professional carpenters, cement finishers, and roofers who also donated their time. "This was built exactly as designed," remarked the inspector. Project architect Bruce Houghton agreed. "The quality, diversity, and quantity of volunteer groups you've engaged is exceptional," he said. "Absolutely complimentary and excellent! I really appreciate as well that you have experts doing the all-important roof work. The firm of Ranon & Partners and I are proud to be on your team." We tip our hard hats to these hardy volunteers. Stay tuned for the grand finale. 

Event Calendar 

April 13

Abilities Guild Island Call

Nauti-Nancy's Pub 


April 27

Guild Installation Brunch

Belleair Country Club 


May 24
Raymond James Presents the 25th Annual Abilities Wine Tasting at the   

Armed Forces History Museum  

To RSVP or volunteer for these events, call Lisa Johnson at 727-600-8911

Click here to Like us on


Foundation Awarded $25,446 from Queen of Hearts Ball Proceeds    

Our efforts to support the 56th Annual Queen of Hearts Ball through ticket sales, sponsorships, auction donations, program ads, and volunteers paid handsome dividends. At the Queen Court's Spring Meeting in the St. Pete Yacht Club, event chair Elise Minkoff presented Foundation president and CEO Frank De Lucia with a check for $25,446 with these words: "We are so very proud of all you do to improve lives in our community!" De Lucia thanked the Queen's Court for believing and investing in our mission and credited platinum sponsor Richard Winning of Derby Lane and Virginia Meyer and members of the Abilities Guild with generating substantial enthusiasm and support. The Foundation will direct these proceeds to the Veterans Mall, which just helped its 650th veteran transition from homeless to apartment life.   

Save 33% on Early-bird Wine Tasting Tickets!


Act now to save 33% on tickets for the May 24 Abilities Wine Tasting at the Armed Forces History Museum. Presented by Raymond James and dedicated in memory of O'Bistro owner Sharon O'Gradney-Krkljus, our 25th annual assembly of fine wine purveyors, accomplished chefs, and auction items will delight oenophiles and foodistas AND support veterans' employment and housing services. Click here to buy $50 7-9 pm Grand Tasting tickets, and here to buy $100 6-9 pm VIP tickets. Offer ends May 16. To purchase $40 Designated Driver tickets or for more information, call Lisa Johnson at 727-600-8911.  
Everyday Hero Virginia Meyer  
Virginia Meyer was among a select group of volunteers honored as BayNews9 Everyday Heroes at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa. Catered by Outback Steakhouse, this annual gathering celebrates those who give generously of themselves to better our communities. She was recognized for establishing and sustaining the Abilities Guild Veterans Mall. Click here to view the news feature narrated by Bill Murphy. But the accolades didn't end there. Meyer was also inducted as an honorary member of the Military Officers Association of America, a rare distinction of among civilians. The Clearwater chapter of MOAA has embraced the Malls' mission, supporting it through donations, volunteerism, and advocacy. Many thanks to U.S. Army Major Norman Belson, and his wife, Jane, who are the driving force behind MOAA's involvement.

American Legion Auxiliary-Dunedin Donates $4,500 and more 

In an extraordinary gesture, members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 275-Dunedin assembled, delivered, and offloaded Buddy Baskets, crock pots, men's underwear, T-shirts, socks, and gently-used household items -- 30 of each, no less, and topped that off with a most generous $4,500 cash donation in support of the Veterans Mall. The presentation of gifts took place amidst eight military veterans selecting home-starter kits. "So great to see the program in action," said Auxiliary president Lyn Felice. "Congratulations on all you've accomplished!" Click here for photos.


ABILHouse Site Acquired 
With funding from a Community Development Block Grant through the City of St. Petersburg and Raymond James Financial through the Community Contributions Tax Incentive Program, Homes for Independence purchased a site for its Acquired Brain Injury Life (ABIL)House. A new component of Warrior Bridge, ABILHouse will serve veterans and Floridians with traumatic brain injuries through a proven clubhouse model that fosters a community of healing,
arning, and growing. Located on 49th Street North, in St. Petersburg, ABILHouse is on a busline near shopping and the Bay Pines VA Hospital. Click here for information.
Tax-wise planning tip...

Tips on Deducting Charitable Donations     





Click here
to donate now.           

Donations must be made to a qualified charity; You must file IRS Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A; If you get a benefit in return for your contribution, your deduction is limited to that portion of your gift that exceeds the value of what you received; You must have a written record of any cash you donate that includes the name of the charity, the date and amount donated; To deduct gifts of $250 or more, you must have a written statement from the nonprofit showing the amount of the donation, and it must also say if the nonprofit provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift. For more details, click here to read more from IRS on charitable contributions or call Frank De Lucia at 727-600-8900.