Lakeland, Fla., April 9, 2015 – The 4th Annual Carefree’s Got Talent (CGT) competition finale drew nearly 2,000 competitors and attendees to the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Florida on March 24 and the event raised an astonishing $25,000 to support Disabled American Veterans (DAV). According to DAV State Veteran Administration Volunteer Service Chairman, Mary Ann Keckler, “100% of Carefree’s donation will go to help our veterans get the benefits and disability compensation they deserve.” Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to Veterans who are determined by VA to be disabled by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service.
“As a Veteran and Carefree resident, I was so honored to be a part of such a wonderful day,” said Bill Flynn, Vietnam veteran and resident of Rainbow Village Carefree RV Resort. “It’s crucial for veterans, like me, to have a place to turn to when in need, and DAV provides us with that support system. Being asked on stage to personally hand over the $25,000 check to DAV truly made my day. I can’t thank Carefree enough for helping change the way veterans are treated and allowing us to get the respect and care that we deserve.”
Carefree Communities partnered with DAV just a year ago and has already given over $50,000 in cash and in-kind donations from CGT and fundraising in various Carefree resorts and communities. Carefree Communities president Colleen Edwards said, “Carefree has always been passionate about community service and giving back. We strongly support organizations like DAV at our communities and at a corporate level. It is very rewarding for all of us, to give our biggest contribution ever to Disabled American Veterans.” The dollars raised at CGT included generous contributions from sponsors Jacobson Homes, Gordon Food Service, Staples, Spottswood Homes, Holmes Murphy, Vaco, Leslie’s Pools, Aird & Berlis, Wells Fargo Insurance, McGladrey, On Shore, and Specialized Office Systems.
The Carefree’s Got Talent finale came after weeks of preliminary park contests at 28 different RV and MH communities throughout Florida. A panel of three judges, including Carefree’s first ever celebrity judge, Wayne Nelson from the Little River Band, determined the winners.
Fredric Sirasky, from Carefree’s Sarasota based Sun-N-Fun RV Resort took home the first place honor, and a grand prize of $5,000 with his clarinet and singing performance in an “Ode to Carefree”. In second place, Tom Wyatt and John Toolin of Baker Acres located in Zephyrhills, humored the crowd with their comedy act and were awarded $500. Dennis Bowker of Club Wildwood Manufactured Home Community performed a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Trouble,” and walked away with the third place prize of $250.
Scottsdale, Ariz. – based Carefree Communities, Inc. is a fully-integrated operating company structured as a private REIT which own and manages destination recreational vehicle (“RV”) parks and senior manufactured home (“MH”) communities. Carefree is among the largest owner, operator of RV and MH parks in the United States, with 100+ communities and over 27,500 sites in Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Carolina, California, Arizona, and Ontario, Canada. For more information find us at www.carefreecommunities.com. ###