Archive for March, 2011

Charlotte Graver, Top Ten Titan Donor Launches

March 17, 2011

Charlotte Graver (right) presenting Donna K. Dunio (left), Executive Director of ITNSarasota with Community Foundation Endowment and Operational Donation.

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

ITNSarasota accepts SunTrust donation

March 11, 2011

Pelican Press

ITNSarasota, a nonprofit organization providing affordable, individual transportation for seniors over 60 and visually impaired adults, recently received a $15,000 Gold Leadership Gift from SunTrust Bank.

“This gift will have a huge impact on the lives of those who live and work in our community,” said Donna Dunio, executive director of ITNSarasota, in a news release. “ITN is more than a ‘good cause’; it’s a necessary and innovative answer to enabling our seniors to regain some of the freedom they gave up when they stopped driving.”

ITN does more than provide affordable rides for those who no longer drive, the release notes: “It’s helping to solve a critical public health issue. Seniors now have an alternative to driving that preserves their freedom to buy their own groceries, shop downtown or at the malls, enjoy the arts, get to their medical appointments on time, to go wherever they want to go 24/7 while making our roads safer.”

Read the full article at

Taking senior services personally

March 10, 2011

Joey Cresta
American Journal

WESTBROOK – Bob Dunfey has operated hotels and worked in former President Bill Clinton’s administration, and now he is in Westbrook, working for ITNPortland out of the Dana Warp Mill.

Dunfey was hired recently as executive director of ITNPortland, a nonprofit organization providing transportation to seniors and the visually impaired. He brings with him a wealth of experience from his years in the hotel industry. His career began in his family’s company, Dunfey Hotels, now known as Omni Hotels. He also worked for the General Service Administration for New England during Clinton’s presidency. He said his experiences helped him realize his passion for working in public service.

Read the full article at

Driving Miss Daisy — Or You

March 8, 2011

Dan Woog

It didn’t open with a burst of publicity. You won’t see its logo emblazoned on vans or buses.

But in its own quiet, clever way, ITNCoastalCT is revolutionizing Westport in that most mundane, important area of suburban life: driving.

The concept is spectacularly simple: People 60 or older (or those of any age with visual impairments) become members. By establishing a prepaid account — think E-Z Pass — they have access to a ride, in a private car, anywhere in Westport, Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, Fairfield and Easton.

Read Dan Woog’s blog.

Service to seniors drives ITNBluegrass

March 8, 2011

Margaret Buranen
Smiley Pete Publishing

Lexington, KY – The Independent Transportation Network of the Bluegrass [ITNBluegrass] drove its first official client in July 2008. Since then, the nonprofit organization has taken more than 10,000 local residents who can’t drive themselves to places they needed to go, and the demand for [ITNBluegrass‘] service continues to grow.

“Eldercare has surpassed childcare for (causing) absences in the workplace,” said Gale Reece, [ITNBluegrass‘] executive director. “We are able to help people who are working. They can stay at work while we transport their (non-driving) relatives.”

Read the full article.

Ken Burger: Getting there is only part of the joy

March 7, 2011

Ken Burger
The Post and Courier

Three mornings a week, Paul Franklin drives from downtown Charleston to James Island to make a very special delivery – Dr. Curtis Worthington.

Despite his 85 years, the good doctor still spends his days in the Waring Historical Library at the Medical University of South Carolina, one of the most important collections in the country.

Then later in the day, Franklin picks Worthington up and deposits him safely back home.

Over the years, they’ve formed a friendship during these intimate times spent together. But it’s more than that.

Both are part of ITN (Independent Transportation Network) Charleston Trident, a volunteer group that provides rides to those in the community who need them.

“Paul is one of the reasons I haven’t given it up,” the doctor said on a recent morning commute. “Together, we’ve solved several of the world’s most pressing problems.”

Read the full story in The Post and Courier.

Nevada State Bank Supports Senior Transportation

March 2, 2011

ITNLasVegasValley has received a $5,000 donation from Nevada State Bank.  The grant will support operation of the agency’s senior transportation service, with special emphasis on its Road Scholarship™ program that helps lower income seniors receive rides.

In announcing the grant, co-Director Fran Smith said, “Nevada State Bank has been a true friend of ITN.  Their numerous donations have been instrumental in putting our service on the road and continuing our rides for seniors, who have such limited transportation options in our community.”

ITNLasVegasValley provides dignified transportation for seniors with arm-through-arm, door-through door service.  Founded in 2009, it is one of the 18 affiliates of ITNAmerica which offer community-based, community supported, economically viable and consumer-oriented, quality transportation service for seniors and visually impaired adults across the country.

Look Who’s Driving Now?

March 1, 2011

The Post & Courier

A ride with the mayor

Mayor Joe Riley, volunteering as a driver for the day, opens the door to his car on Monday for Edward Clifford, the 25,000th rider using the Independent Transportation Network. The all-volunteer network helps transport Lowcountry seniors so that they can remain independent but still have a way to get around.


Left to right: Mr. Clifford, Mayor Riley departing for Mr. Clifford's home.


Left to right: Mr. Clifford, Terry Brown (Chair-ITNCharlestonTrident Board of Trustees and volunteer driver), Mayor Riley presenting Mr. Clifford with a plaque commemorating the 25,000 Ride Celebration.

Read the article in The Post and Courier