Archive for February, 2008

Winter Park Mayor David Strong provides 5,000th Ride for ITNOrlando

February 28, 2008

When Eleanor Irvine, 88, needs groceries, she simply hops into the car and travels to her neighborhood supermarket. But it’s not her car she hops into because she gave up driving over 30 years ago. Ms. Irvine relies on ITNOrlando.

“Imagine how surprised Ms. Irvine was when the volunteer who picked her up was the Mayor of Winter Park,” said Tom Porter, Executive Director of ITNOrlando. ITNOrlando currently has 20 volunteer drivers who, along with the organization’s paid drivers, provide rides in Winter Park, Maitland, Eatonville, Orlando and surrounding areas. “Volunteers are the backbone of our organization, and we hope that others will follow Mayor Strong’s example and be inspired to help.”

Mayor Strong and Eleanor
Winter Park Mayor David Strong provides 5,000th Ride for ITNOrlando

Mayor Strong to Provide 5,000th Ride for ITNOrlando

February 28, 2008

City News

“Imagine how surprised our senior citizen will be when the volunteer who picks them up is the Mayor of Winter Park,” said Tom Porter, Executive Director of ITNOrlando.

Click here to read the full article.

12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement

February 16, 2008

The Wall Street Journal

Katherine Freund, founder of the Independent Transportation Network® and Executive Director of ITNAmerica, was featured in a Wall Street Journal article, “12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement: These pioneers are shaping the way Americans will live, work and play later in life” (2/16/08).

She is also one of three people interviewed in the podcast: “Changing Shape of Later Life.”

Click here to view full article

Honoring Ann Nicolson

February 14, 2008

Tom Porter, Executive Director, ITNOrlando

Ann Nicolson
Ann Nicolson

Ann Nicolson was the first ITNOrlando volunteer to drive for us, even if it was just “pretend.” One of the local news shows did a story about us and Ann drove for the television camera weeks before we gave our first “real” ride. Over one hundred times since then, Ann got into her car, picked up a customer and drove them to their destination. Ann, like all of our volunteers, was a very generous person.

One of Ann’s first riders was Eleanor Irvine. They discovered they had a lot in common and quickly became good friends. Ann would drive them to lunch, to look at the newest stores and restaurants that had recently opened and to evening social outings. On the news clip, Ann said that she liked to drive and mentioned that she wanted to ensure she had a place in someone’s car when she could no longer drive. That place was in my car on January 11, 2008, sooner than any of us expected and it was from a hospital to Ann’s temporary home in a Winter Park rehabilitation center. Ann passed away on Thursday, January 31, 2008.

The following Monday, I picked up Eleanor Irvine and we drove to the memorial service. I was not surprised when several of Ann’s lifelong friends and family members noted her many interests, her sense of humor and her zest for living. I was not surprised when they recounted the many ways that she helped others and generously gave of herself. And I was not surprised when Ann’s daughter Lucy told me she learned generosity from her mom and directed that the mileage credits Ann earned go to Eleanor and that Ann’s car go to ITN.

It’s sad knowing that I will no longer talk to Ann or see her smiling face at our volunteer celebrations. I’m sure that those of you who knew her will miss her, too. I hope that Ann’s family (and I believe Ann) will take comfort in knowing that she is still giving generously to our customers and still providing rides to Eleanor Irvine.

Mayor Riley provides 5000th ride

February 13, 2008

Congratulations to ITNCharlestonTrident for providing their 5000th ride! ITN member Dr. Henry Rittenberg (pictured at right) was picked up at MUSC by Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., who volunteered to be the driver for this auspicious event. ITNCharlestonTrident has been providing Press Releases and the visually impaired, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the past 15 months. To volunteer or make a donation, please call (843)225-2715.

ITNCharlestonTrident providing their 5000th ride!
ITNCharlestonTrident providing their 5000th ride!

State agencies play new role in route to affiliation

February 1, 2008

Westbrook, ME

Several state agencies are collaborating with ITNAmerica to help develop dignified and sustainable transportation across their states. This approach of establishing clusters of affiliates, aided by initial funding from the State, is expected to generate valuable economic and operational efficiencies.

The Connecticut Department of Social Services recently issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for matching grants of up to $50,000 to help establish four affiliates. The $50,000 may be applied toward the initial start-up funds required for the development and implementation of an ITN affiliate.

In 2008, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSoFA) will be requesting applications for grants to establish four ITN affiliates in New York State. The communities selected through the RFA will each be awarded a $55,000 grant from NYSoFA to be used as start-up funds for their first year. The selected communities will also receive an additional $25,000 from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation during the first year and another $25,000 for the second year which will be administered by ITNAmerica.

A number of different government organizations, such as a Department of Transportation or Department of Aging, could be the catalyst for exploring your senior mobility issues.

If you are interested in helping start an ITN affiliate in your community and you want to explore how your state might get involved, contact your local state legislator, or urge your legislator to contact us directly at (207) 857-9001. We welcome your interest.

Introducing ITNCentralCt

February 1, 2008

Katherine Freund, Executive Director and Founder of ITNAmerica, spoke at a recent press conference about a future affiliate of the Independent Transportation Network®®, ITNCentralCT. The nonprofit organization will offer rides to people over 60 and those with visual impairments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for any purpose within the service area, using private cars.

A combination of paid and volunteer drivers will offer arm-through-arm, door-through-door service in Middletown, Cromwell, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Portland, East Hampton, Middlefield, and Durham.

Development Director Brian Rarey said, “We are a community-supported organization — and that means we need your support. We are in the process of raising $100,000 to meet our goal of starting service by August 2008. Please make a donation, or if you have a car you are no longer using, help build our fleet by donating it to our organization. Or volunteer to drive. You will love meeting your older neighbors, and we only ask for three hours a month. As a volunteer, you can earn mileage credits for your own future use, or you can donate your credits to a scholarship fund, your parent, or anyone you care about.”

Supporters of the dignified transportation program include Senator Jonathan Harris, Senator Paul Doyle, Congressional Aide to Rosa DeLauro, Middletown Mayor Sebastian Guiliano, Town Manager Bonnie Therrien and Portland First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield.

Membership is only $40 and is open to anyone who wants to support Press Releases. Everyone benefits from this program. Businesses retain their valuable customers, adult children find relief from a complex problem, public safety is improved, and seniors stay connected with family, friends, and their community. To find out how you can support the creation of ITNCentralCT, please call (860) 346-RIDE (7433).