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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