Archive for April, 2010

ITNSarasota™ First Rides Event a Huge Success

April 30, 2010

Friends and supporters of the Independent Transportation Network® of Sarasota County gathered at the Community Foundation of Sarasota on April 23 for the “First Rides” community event to celebrate ITNSarasota’s phenomenal growth since giving its first ride in late January.

Judi Gallagher, ABC 7 Culinary Director and Celebrity Chef, Cliff Roles, radio show host of Talk of the Sun Coast, 1280 AM WTMY and Nora Patterson, Sarasota County Commissioner were on site as Celebrity Volunteer Drivers to give member-riders a unique ride.

“We are so pleased to have the support of these caring local celebrities as our safe, affordable, and sustainable transportation alternative for this community becomes a reality,” says Sophia LaRusso, chair of the First Rides Event. “We’ve implemented an innovative model whereby seniors and visually impaired adults now have access to arm-through-arm, door-through-door, cost-effective transportation when they want it and for whatever reason. That’s great news for the thousands of older adults and visually impaired in our service area.”

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County played an instrumental role in ITNSarasota’s growing success. Phil Gorelick, Board Chair of ITNSarasota, presented Stewart Stearns, President of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County a “gift” on behalf of ITNSarasota in honor of his many years of outstanding service to the community.

“We are so grateful for the extensive planning support and start-up funds provided by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. They helped us launch this exciting service locally, and a diversified base of community support will keep us growing,” says ITNSarasota Executive Director, Donna Dunio. “The individuals, businesses, community organizations, and volunteer drivers who attended our “First Rides” Event have all enabled us to provide this dignified transportation option for seniors and the visually impaired!” For more information about ITNSarasota call (941) 364-7530 or go to

View the image gallery.
Katherine Freund, founder and CEO of ITNAmerica speaking at the ITNSarasota First Rides Event
Great group shot of event
David Shukovsky, Linda Abromson, Phil Gorelick
Linda Abromson and Katherine Freund
Donna Dunnio, Sophia LaRusso and three members-riders
Guest, County Commissioner Nora Patterson and Sophia LaRusso
Sophia LaRusso and Judi Gallagher ABC 7 Culinary Director and local Celebrity Chef

ITNCharlestonTrident Provides 20,000th Ride April 22, 2010

April 29, 2010

April 22, 2010

ITNCharlestonTrident, a dignified transportation alternative for older people who can no longer drive, provided its 20,000th ride since beginning its service in the low country on Nov. 15, 2006.

The 20,000th ride took member rider Annette Vinson to her regular beauty shop appointment on Thursday afternoon, April 22, 2010. Mrs. Vinson, who lives in the West Ashley area, has utilized the ITN service for the three and a half years ITN has served the community with the alternative transportation program. Mrs. Vinson uses the program for her medical appointments, shopping, going to the pharmacy and, of course, and her visits to her hair salon.

Mrs. Vinson was driven by volunteer driver Barbara Franklin. Barbara is one of nearly 40 ITNCharlestonTrident volunteers. In addition to being a regular volunteer driver for ITN, Barbara serves as Chair of the ITNCharlestonTirdent volunteer Committee, and Chair of the Transportation Committee of the South Carolina Aging in Place Coalition.

ITNCharlestonTrident thanks its volunteers for the great effort put forth in helping to achieve this major milestone and its community partners for their support in helping to make the ITN program a big success.

View the image gallery.
Annette Vinson and Barbara Franklin

Katherine Freund speaks at the Edmonton’s International Conference on Urban Traffic Safety

April 26, 2010

April 25-29, 2010

Katherine Freund is traveling to Alberta, Canada this month to present at Edmonton’s 2nd International Conference on Urban Traffic Safety on Tuesday, April 27. The conference, titled Improving Urban Traffic Safety: Championing Collaboration for Success in our Communities, is held from April 25-29, and is intended to bring together influential traffic safety stakeholders to promote collaboration and share solutions to achieve world-class traffic safety in their communities.

Katherine’s presentation is called Mobility in an Aging World: The Sustainable Business Model, and will cover a range of topics from demographics and social factors to aging and motor vehicle operating risk, as well as recommendations for safe mobility. Katherine will also present the Sustainable Business Model, addressing the relationship between the older population and motor vehicle operation because time can lessen human capabilities like vision, mental agility, and physical dexterity – all needed for safety.

To learn more about the conference and other presentations, please visit the Urban Traffic Safety Conference website.

When to hang up the keys?

April 26, 2010

As ITNGreaterCincinnati moves swiftly towards giving rides, the need for their service in the Cincinnati area is ever present. The Sunday Enquirer ran an article this week highlighting several cases where seniors with dementia became lost while driving, often endangering themselves and others on the road. Communities around the country are realizing the need for a senior transportation service to keep every member of the community safe and healthy. The article also outlines some common warning signs family members can look for.

Read the full article here.

Celebrities Support Roll-out of New Senior Transportation Service in Sarasota

April 19, 2010

When: 2pm, April 19
Where: Community Foundation of Sarasota County, 2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota

ITNSarasota™, a community based non-profit agency providing dignified transportation for seniors and adults with visual impairment, is celebrating its “First Rides” with a community event on Monday, April 19th at 2:00 p.m. at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Chairing the event is Sophia LaRusso, an active community volunteer, past ITNSarasota board member, and former board chair of The Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Many local celebrities will be attending the celebration as volunteer drivers. These celebrities include Judi Gallagher, ABC 7 Culinary Director and Celebrity Chef, Cliff Roles, radio show host of Talk of the Sun Coast, 1280 AM WTMY, Nora Patterson, Sarasota County Commissioner plus other local celebrity guests.

The “First Rides” event marks the start of continued mobility and independence for many residents who have already joined the ITNSarasota community. “We are so grateful for the extensive planning support and start-up funds provided by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County,” says ITNSarasota Executive Director, Donna Dunio. “They helped us launch this exciting service locally, and a diversified base of community support will keep us growing.”

Individuals, businesses, community organizations, and volunteer drivers are invited to not only attend the “First Rides” event but to contribute to and participate in this dignified transportation option for seniors by contacting ITNSarasota at (941) 364-7530 or

Katherine’s 24-Hour Walk for Rides

April 19, 2010

When: Noon, June 18 – Noon, June 19
Where: Portland ME, Back Cove, along Baxter Boulevard

Less than a decade after the very first Walk for Rides™ fundraising event, Katherine Freund is embarking on a 24-hour, round-the-clock walk, in support of ITNAmerica and all affiliates. The walk is around Back Cove in Portland, Maine on June 18-19. Katherine will be traveling around the country gathering support for her walk. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, representing the 1st District of Maine, will join Katherine on June 18 to show her support for ITNAmerica and senior transportation.
If you are interested in walking with Katherine, please sign up on our website. You can register online to walk as part of Katherine’s team, and then share your page with friends and family asking them to sponsor your walk. If you can’t be with Katherine to walk in Maine, register as an individual to walk in your community. You can also promote your page on Facebook and Twitter to let more people know about Katherine’s 24-hour walk. Anyone, anywhere in the country can walk to support ITNAmerica in our Walk for Rides.

ITNBluegrass™ Hosts Second Annual Walk for Rides™

April 12, 2010

When: Saturday, May 8 from 1 p.m. — 4 p.m.
Where: Gratz Park in Downtown Lexington

ITNBluegrass is excited to announce its second annual Walk for Rides to be held in conjunction with Mayfest on May 8 in downtown Lexington’s historic Gratz Park. This year’s fundraising walk features a scavenger hunt where participants will be asked to gather both items and information. There will be prizes for the teams and individuals who win in the various scavenger hunt categories and for those who gather the most in contributions for ITNBluegrass.

Walk for Rides is an important event for ITNBluegrass. In addition to providing much-needed financial support, it also builds community among participants and raises awareness of senior mobility issues. Last year, about two dozen people participated in our first Walk for Rides, and dozens more visited our booth at Mayfest. We need your help to reach this year’s goal of $12,000 in sponsorships and pledges to support our innovative non-profit transportation service. The more you walk, the more seniors ride!

When you register as a sponsor or walker, you’ll be supporting safe, dignified, affordable transportation for people 60+ and visually-impaired adults in our community who have stopped or limited their driving. Your time and commitment will help connect them to the people and activities that bring meaning to their lives. For more information, contact ITNBluegrass at 252-8665.

See our Walk for Rides brochure.
See our Walk for Rides flyer.

ITNSanDiego™ Hosts Second Annual Walk for Rides™

April 12, 2010

When: Saturday, May 1 from 9 a.m. — Noon
Where: LiveWell San Diego, North Clairemont Park

ITNSanDiego™ is excited to announce its second annual Walk for Rides – our biggest fundraising event of the year – on Saturday, May 1st, 2010. Starting at 9:00 am, we’ll take the same two-mile route as last year, beginning and ending at LiveWell San Diego, 4425 Bannock Avenue in Clairemont. This year’s walk will be dog-friendly, so be sure to bring your four-legged friends with you!

There are many ways to be involved: join our Walk for Rides as an individual or part of a team, walk on behalf of someone who is unable, or sponsor a walker.

See our Walk for Rides brochure.
See our Walk for Rides flyer.

ITNBluegrass™ Volunteer Driver Trainings

April 9, 2010

Dear Prospective Volunteer Driver,

ITNBluegrass will hit 5,000 rides in Fayette County before the end of April – wow! The weather is warming and everyone wants to get out! Please consider attending a training to see what the program is all about; it’s less than a two-hour time commitment and we really could use you. The number of rides you end up doing is up to you. We are very flexible and understand that people have different amounts of time they can give!

At the training, you’ll also hear about our driver benefits, which include a free ITNBluegrass membership to give to someone plus options on what to do with your mileage. The best benefit, though, is the good feeling you’ll get by helping others remain active and independent.

ITNBluegrass drivers gave a record 409 rides in March. As you might imagine, most rides are M-F during the day, but a growing number of customers are scheduling weekend and evening rides, so we can really use you no matter what your schedule is like!

Below is a list of upcoming Volunteer Driver trainings for April and May. As always, I can schedule others if these days/times don’t work for you.

Thank you!


Laura Dake
Deputy Director


Tuesday, April 13 9:00-11:00 am
Monday, April 19 3:00-5:00 pm
Saturday, April 24 9:00-11:00 am
Tuesday, April 27 11:00 am-1:00 pm

Wednesday, May 5 9:00-11:00 am
Monday, May 10 3:00-5:00 pm
Thursday, May 20 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Saturday, May 22 9:00-11:00 am

All trainings are in the conference room at the ITNBluegrass office, which is located at 1206 N Limestone Street, in Arlington Christian Church. Parking is in the back of the church.

Please email or call Laura at 859.252.8665 to ask questions or to say you’ll attend. (Attending a training session does not obligate you to drive.)

ITNBluegrass™ Considering Expanding to Midway!

April 8, 2010

ITNBluegrass had a very successful initial meeting at Midway Baptist Church on Saturday, March 27. Twenty-one potential riders and drivers came to hear about the service and ask questions. The meeting was hosted by the Midway Area Ministerial Association and endorsed by the Midway City Council, Mayor Bozarth and Midway Renaissance.

Attendees had an opportunity to fill out an interest survey at the meeting; if you missed the meeting and are a Midway resident, this short survey is available on-line when you visit In addition to the survey, there are answers to frequently-asked questions about ITN’s service. Local residents may also find hard copies of the survey at the library, city hall and many churches.