On Saturday, January 21, the Glen lakes Veterans and Friends (GLVF) held an “R & R” for supporters of their organization and recipients of their grants. The term “R & R” in military lingo refers to rest and recreation, but in this case, it could stand for reception and recognition. The event was held at Glen Lakes Golf and Country Club and featured a buffet of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres.
The reception highlighted the success of their sixth annual golf outing held each year on Veterans’ Day. The 2022 event raised $57,000. This brought the total raised over the past six years to more than $250,000. Some of the organizations that benefited this year were the American Legion Post 186, Disabled American Veterans Post 67, VFW Post 10209, Polish Legion of American Veterans Post 196, Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home, and the F.W. Springstead High School Air Force ROTC.
Retired Army Major General George Friel, one of the founders of the GLVF, remarked that he and the other founders decided to start the group in 2016 to assist veterans organizations in helping local veterans. “We contacted the veterans’ organizations to see what their needs were, and we decided to help those organizations that directly help the needy veterans,” he stated.
Marlies Sarrett, the administrator of Baldomero Lopez State Veterans Home, commented that the funds from GLVF go towards the extras that they can purchase for their residents over and above what they receive from the Veterans Administration. This year they’ll use it for the patients in their dementia unit. In past years they purchased computer desks and laptops with the grant.
“They’ve been a generous supporter of us for many years,” Ms. Sarrett remarked.
Retired Marine Corps Major General James Hartsell, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA), came to the R & R to be with Ms. Sarrett to accept the check from the GLVF. “With 1.5 million veterans in Florida, this organization shows it cares about veterans and their families. Organizations like this are what make America different from other nations. It’s grassroots and community-based,” he commented.
Bryan de La Rosa, a senior at Springstead High School and member of their Air Force Junior ROTC, accepted a check for $1,000 that will go towards uniforms and other supplies for their group. Bryan plans to join the Air Force when he graduates and attend college while in the service.
Unlike many 501c3 non-profit organizations, Glen Lakes Veterans and Friends is made up entirely of volunteers. They have no overhead for office space or employees. Glen Lakes Golf and Country Club does not charge for the use of their golf course for golf outings, which eliminates a large expense. This means that 100% of the net profits after operating expenses go directly to the beneficiaries. In order to be considered for a grant, the organization must submit a grant application and be vetted by the GLVF Board of Directors.
This past year there was a record number of businesses and individuals that contributed to the golf outing in various ways. Some were hole sponsors; some donated money; others donated gift certificates or items for the silent auction and raffles that were held at the event. These contributors are listed on the GLVF website, and there are links to the businesses’ websites. They also receive a sticker to put in their store or office window stating that they are a “veteran-friendly” business. GLVF urges all its members and donors to support these businesses. In this way, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
The 2022 sponsors and donors were: Historic Sports Art; Roseann Latoria ReMax Real Estate; Joseph P. Nagy, CPA; Ultimate Health Plans; Marine Corps League 708; Affordable Golf Carts; Craig W. Krueger Air Conditioning & heating; Ralph Paulsen ReMax Real Estate; Edgewater Endodontics; Denny & Judy Blum; Aventura Nursery & landscaping; Air Source Cooling & Heating; Coastal Lawn & Pest Services; Crystal Motors; Discount Garage Doors; Law Offices of Kara Evans; Sandra Klotz-Millington & Wayne L. Millington; Polish Legion of American Veterans Post 196; Lynn & Tom Cumm; Eagle Buick/GMC; Brian’s Place; Billy the Sunshine Plumber; Tinari Chiropractic; DeCrisotfaro’s Ristorante Italiano; Alexpondeas Family; Buick GMC Brooksville; The Eye Center; Chew & Murphy Families; Renee & Jim Ogurek; Addome Bella Spa; Prime Eighty Eight; Mike Fulford; Mobility Styles; Concerned Veterans For America; Accent Carpet & Tile; Laurose Lawns; Dougherty Investment Advisors; American Gun & Pawn; Charles E. Murray American Legion Post 186; Anytime Fitness Weeki Wachee; Bob’s Carpet Mart; Downing Funeral Home & Cremation Services; Dan’s Driveway Designs; Florian Insurance; J & S Transport Services; Jim & Alicia Karam; Killingsworth Insurance; Love Honda; O’Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care; Pinch-a-Penny; Serfass Investments; Rick & Nancy Merkel; Holmes Drafting Services; Hartland Homes; Florida Tax Advisors; James Adams; Adams Group Experience; K9 Partners for Patriots; Michaels Center for Dental Excellence; Lynn & Jim Dufrane; Glen Lakes Belles; Register Chevrolet; Mattress Avenue; Glen Lakes Golf & Tennis Club; Glory Days Grill; Hernando Sun; Taylor Family (Yoopers); and AutoNation Cadillac Port Richey.
The members of Glen Lake Veterans and Friends are already planning their 2023 event. If you would like to be a sponsor, play in the tournament, or would like more information on the organization, go to www.glenlakesvets.org. You can also find out more by contacting Ron Ford at 906-291-0587 or any of the other board members listed on their website.