This year’s R.A.C.E fundraising event was a breakfast with all the great stories of our annual event while at the same time allowing more funds to go directly to providing transportation solutions to working families. As a result over $60,000 was raised towards providing additional families with reliable vehicles. With $3,000 being the average cost to get a car road ready, 13 additional families will be able to receive reliable transportation and the additional funds will be used toward keeping Wheels of Success on the road.
In addition to the 2 vehicle presentations and success stories, a regular feature of the event is the presentation of the annual Hub Cap Award. Penny Rogo Bailes of MamaRazzi Foto was honored as this year’s #1 Fan for her photographic support of Wheels of Success since the very beginning in 2003.
Wheels of Success’ Founder and CEO Susan Jacobs says “From start to finish this year’s R.A.C.E. was a success thanks to the hard work and support of our Community Partners and Staff.” R.A.C.E event guest’s Built-A-Breakfast, while funding the Build-A-Car program, leaving the event with a sweet feeling in their hearts, and a sweet treat of DoubleTree cookies (compliments of Florida Design Consultants) as well as a coupon from Caspers Company- McDonalds for a Free breakfast item. At the same time R.A.C.E. funded
Build-A-Car recipients, will be able build their lives.
Read More on Our Website http://www.wheelsofsuccess.org/our-events/race-2016.html
View R.A.C.E Facebook Album
Megal Gets His Keys: Vehicles for Veterans Recipient
Megal left the United States Army as a field artillery crew member after serving a tour in Afghanistan and a tour in Iraq. Initially, Megal moved to Colorado to be with his family. Since his car had broken down, he left it in Colorado and moved to Atlanta to support his wife and two boys while working at a manufacturing plant. He and his wife shared a vehicle until the plant closed, his wife left for Florida with the car and he was homeless. Though it took a while, Megal made it to Florida to be the Dad his children needed.
The Homeless Veteran Association HUD/VASH placed Megal in a home so he could stay off of the streets . Megal found employment as an electrical apprentice and began studying to be a barber under the GI Bill. His current employment requires a 1.5 hour bus commute each way though the job is only 15-20 from his home by car; that’s a long commute for a man who wants to be there for his kids. When the agency referred Megal to Wheels, he knew he had to pay the high DMV impact fees necessary to get his Florida driver license so he could qualify for the program. Megal made it happen – we will be presenting him with a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid from State Farm, their 30th vehicle, so he can spend more time with his nine- and four- year old sons. Megal will be able to spend time watching his nine-year-old play sports and his younger son’s school activities instead of watching the bus stops pass by. For their first adventure , Megal plans on taking his boys to the beach – “after having travelled all over” and being a “huge swimmer” it is hard to be “so close to the beach but can’t get there”.
WL: Waiting for Wheels
It is not surprising that a foster child who survived neglect and abuse as a toddler then lived in nearly two-dozen foster homes hasn’t had a good start in becoming an adult. Though it hasn’t stopped WL’s desire to succeed, his past history has left him with several disabilities and long periods of homelessness. The Camelot Program at Eckerd Youth Alternatives has supported WL by finding him housing and, if he can find transportation, a better paying job! That’s where Wheels hopes to provide the last key to WL’s success – WL is “waiting for wheels” through the Wheels to the Future Program.
Vehicles for Veterans
Tampa Bay is home to MacDill Air Force Base which serves approximately 10,500 troops and 46,000 retired veterans. To serve these and other veterans, Wheels has developed its Vehicles for Veterans program which deals with returning veterans’ special needs including service related disabilities, high unemployment rates, and high rates of homelessness. Thanks to the good work of the local VA Service Centers, Tampa Crossroads, and HEP, veterans can receive aid to achieve sustainability and independence. Through collaboration, Wheels of Success provides the final key to success.
Our Vehicles for Veteransprogram, started with funding through State Farm in 2009 with continuing annual support, makes it easier for veterans to keep the jobs they have, get the medical care they need and keep them from sliding into homelessness. By providing reliable transportation, Wheels of Success’ Vehicles for Veterans program provides the support veterans need to stay working and complete their education. Wheels has plenty of veterans to help – in the first three quarters of this fiscal year, Wheels has had sixteen applicants who have identified themselves as veterans. Wheels of Success has partnered with Fulfill Your Destiny in a new program to provide each veteran receiving a vehicle with a $100 gas card.
Save the Date
Tampa Beer Run
June 18th, 2016
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Al Lopez Park
Facebook Event Page https://www.facebook.com/tampabeerrun/