ITNSarasota, a non-profit organization providing affordable, dignified transportation for seniors over 60 and visually impaired adults, received its first Top Ten Titan endowment gift from Charlotte Graver, one of Sarasota County’s caring individuals. Mrs. Graver made the donation through her charitable fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
A Top Ten Titan gift may be made by a major donor or a corporation, and may be used to create a new endowment fund or add to an existing endowment fund. “This endowment will have a huge impact on the lives of all of us who live and work in Sarasota County,” says Donna Dunio, Executive Director of ITNSarasota. By creating an endowment, Mrs. Graver has created a legacy to help us fulfill our vision of a day when all seniors who can no longer drive are able to live life to the fullest! Hopefully, others will want to contribute to Mrs. Graver’s endowment fund, or maybe even create their own.”
Ms. Graver also made a separate donation to ITNSarasota for operating expenses. She said, “I’m selective about where I donate and I can assure you that ITNSarasota is providing a much needed and worthwhile service. I want to help ensure that ITNSarasota will be here for all future generations.” Art Mahoney, ITNSarasota board chair said, “Mrs. Graver’s endowment is huge because ITN is more than a ‘good cause,’ it’s a necessary and innovative answer to enabling our seniors to regain the independence they “gave-up” when they stopped driving.” Mahoney added, “Seniors now have a safe, dignified transportation alternative that enables them to shop for their own groceries, go downtown or to the mall with friends, take in the arts in the evening, attend religious services, get to their medical appointments on time; to go wherever they want to go 24/7.”
ITNSarasota is one of 18 affiliates in communities nationwide that replicates the successful nonprofit membership organization begun in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago by Katherine Freund, now founder and president of ITNAmerica. Freund is a national leader in senior transportation issues. ITNSarasota is one of the fastest growing non-profits in Sarasota County and needs volunteer driver numbers to catch-up with the needs of member riders. Fees cover about a third of the cost of providing the ride; the other 70 percent is covered through fundraising efforts. Volunteer support is essential. For more information on how YOU can become a Volunteer Driver for ITNSarasota, please call (941) 364-7530 or visit www.itnsarasota.org.