Archive for May, 2011

Read “Elderly Drivers Fail a Test” at the New York Times

May 27, 2011

True or false? Most older drivers drive as safely as anyone else. Read the full article at the New York Times.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards the Independent Transportation Network of Sarasota County $120,000

May 24, 2011
Donna K. Dunio and Wendy Hopkins,

Wendy Hopkins, Vice President of Grant and Program Services, for The Community Foundation of Sarasota County presents Donna K. Dunio, Executive Director and President of ITNSarasota (the Independent Transportation Network of Sarasota County) with Community Foundation grants totaling $120,000.

Sarasota (5/24/11) – ITNSarasota™ a community based nonprofit agency providing dignified, affordable individual transportation for seniors and adults with visual impairment, has been awarded a $120,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. $100,000 was made possible by the James Franklin Warnell & Dorothy J. Warnell Fund and $20,000 was awarded from the Kathleen K. Catlin Fund. The grant supplements part of the costs for providing this caring program. Member riders can use this unique transportation service as needed 24 hours a day seven days a week; whether it’s to go grocery shopping, to the doctor’s office, for a hair cut, a get-together with friends or to take in a show.

“We would not have been able to launch this safe, affordable, and sustainable transportation alternative to the community without the caring support of the Community Foundation!” says Art Mahoney, ITNSarasota Board Chair. “We implemented this innovative service which enables seniors and visually impaired adults to have access to arm-in-arm, door-through-door, cost-effective transportation when they want it and for whatever reason. Due to the Community Foundation’s on-going support we were one of the fastest growing nonprofits in Sarasota County during our first full year of service. That’s great news for the thousands of older adults and visually impaired in our service area.”

“I’ll be 92 years old on my next birthday, but still want to live life to the fullest, stay active and be involved in the community,” Sarasota resident and ITN member, Isabel said.  “This service allows us to schedule our appointments, shopping, and visits to the Volunteer Friendship Center when we choose and not have to depend on someone else’s availability.” Edie and Ivy told us.  “My son is a good man and he really tries to take me places when I need, but he has a full-time job. ITN takes the pressure off of both of us.” Member rider John said.  “ITNSarasota was a gift to us from our out of state children and it has helped my husband and I regain some of the independence we lost when we stopped driving,” Teresa said.

ITNSarasota is one of 21 ITN affiliates in communities nationwide that replicates the successful, nonprofit membership organization begun in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago by Katherine Freund.  Freund, founder and president of ITNAmerica, is a respected national leader and advocate for senior mobility for senior transportation issues.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has not only helped us launch this exciting and worthwhile nonprofit service, it has enabled us to keep growing to meet the needs in a county with the largest percentage of older adults in the nation. The Community Foundation is a blessing for so many caring programs, but it will take a diversified base of community support to keep ITN growing,” says ITNSarasota Executive Director, Donna Dunio. “The fees cover about 30% of the cost of providing the ride, we must fundraise the other 70%.  Individuals, businesses, community organizations and most especially Volunteer Drivers are invited to contribute to and participate in this dignified transportation option for seniors and adults with visual impairment.”  Dunio added, “Our Volunteer Drivers are our Heroes — think how rewarding your help and companionship would be to a senior who can no longer get behind the wheel — in this country, once you give-up the keys, your home can feel like a prison!”  For more information on how YOU can become a Volunteer Driver for ITNSarasota call (941) 364-7530 or go online at

The Community Foundation of Sarasota Sun Trust

The Other Side of 50: When Seniors No Longer Drive

May 19, 2011

By the time the last of the baby boomers turn 65, 20 percent of us will need alternate transportation. How many of us have considered our transportation plans for the last 10 years of our lives?

“Most seniors who can no longer drive don’t want to ride the bus,” Freund said. “At best the bus is inconvenient and at worst unavailable, as half the communities in the U.S. don’t have a public transportation system. Especially for boomers, cars are an extension of our yard and home. We name our cars, we polish them, and we don’t do that to buses.”

Read the full story in The Thousand Oaks Acorn.

ITNCharlestonTrident™ Finalist for Toyota Cars For Good Program

May 18, 2011

ITNCharlestonTrident is a finalist for the Toyota Cars For Good Program.

Please mark your calendar for June 15th and vote for ITNCharlestonTrident.

We are one of only FIVE organizations nationwide that are competing for votes on June 15.

The winner will receive a NEW Toyota.

Four weeks from today (Wednesday, June 15). Please vote for ITNCharlestonTrident at

The seniors and visually impaired riders we provide dignified transportation to say THANK YOU!

PLEASE help spread the word!

Come meet Jean Patel Bushnell, Executive Director of ITNGreaterBoston

May 16, 2011

We invite you to learn more about ITNGreaterBoston, a new community-based transportation alternative that enables older and visually impaired adults to remain mobile, active and independent. Please join Jean Patel Bushnell, Executive Director of ITNGreaterBoston, to learn about the first national non-profit transportation network for seniors and adults who are visually impaired – ITNAmerica® brings together families, businesses, healthcare providers and community organizations to weave a strong web of support to help these two groups continue to live independently. The Greater Boston affiliate will begin with services in core areas of Boston, adjacent communities, and Metrowest towns, with the hopes of gradual expansion as resources, infrastructure and community support grow. Riders’ services should begin by late 2011.

Meeting dates

June 9th, 2011
1.00 PM to 2.30 PM

Office of Elder Services (Senior Center)
162 West Union Street, Upper Level, Ashland, MA
Lunch will be served
RSVP to: 508-881-0140 ext. 10

June 9th, 2011
3.30 PM to 4.30 PM

The Carroll Center for the Blind
770 Centre St, Newton, MA 02458
RSVP to: Dina Rosenbaum at 617-969-6200

June 10th, 2011
8.30 AM to 9.30 AM

Jewish Family Network
475 Franklin Street, Suite 101, Framingham, MA
RSVP to: Lindsay Bradway at JFS or 508 875-3100

Characteristics of the Service

  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Rides available for ANY purpose within the service area.
  • Rides are provided in private automobiles by trained drivers, who offer companionship and support.
  • People 60 years and older, and adults with visual impairments are eligible to join.
  • Rides may be booked at any time; discounts are applied for shared rides and advance notice.
  • Door-through-door service with help for packages, heavy doors and aides to daily life.
  • ITNGreaterBoston is backed by two strong foundations dedicated to quality of life for older adults – MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation (MWCHCF) and Tufts Health Plan Foundation (THPF).

ITNSarasota is Blooming in the Sizzling Florida Spring Sunshine!

May 13, 2011

Come join in the fun at ITN’s Volunteer Recruitment Celebration
Thursday, May 19th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Encore Motorcars

Everyone is invited to enjoy complementary refreshments, check out the beautiful cars on display at Encore Motorcars and learn a little more about how easy and rewarding it is to be an ITNSarasota volunteer driver! ITN provides dignified, affordable rides for seniors and adults with visual impairment. Come join in the fun at Encore on Thursday, May 19th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ITNSarasota volunteers will be there to answer any questions you may have and to share what it’s like to be a volunteer driver. Volunteers get special discounts from Encore and other businesses, reimbursement for their mileage when they volunteer, or they can donate their miles to a member or save them for themselves to use in the future!

When you become an ITN volunteer you can drive as much or as little as your schedule allows and you know that every time you give someone a ride you are enabling that person to enjoy the same freedom and independence that they had before they had to “give up” their car keys. So come join in the Celebration, have some refreshments and see what ITN is all about!

WHAT: ITNSarasota’s Volunteer Recruitment Celebration – refreshments, balloons and an opportunity to check-out some Gorgeous Cars!

WHERE: Encore Motorcars, Inc. 6000 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231

WHAT DAY & TIME: Thursday, May 19th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


ITNLasVegasValley delivers 1,000th ride

May 9, 2011

ITNLasVegasValley, a senior transportation program, delivered its 1,000th ride late last month.

Marion Binimow, an ITN member since June 2010, was the 1,000th rider who went from her home to a lunch date at a local restaurant. She said, “ITN has given me so much freedom and flexibility to go places I could not get to because I don’t drive. I’m glad to have been part of ITN’s milestone celebration.”

The ride was given by Lana Culjis who is one of several volunteer drivers who make it possible for seniors to remain independent and engaged in the community by providing transportation for them.

Encore Motorcars Hosting Volunteer Celebration & Recruitment Drive for ITNSarasota May 19th from 5 to 7 p.m.

May 6, 2011

ITNSarasota, the Independent Transportation Network, a nonprofit organization providing dignified, affordable, individual transportation for seniors over 60 and visually impaired adults is having a Volunteer Recruitment Celebration at Encore Motorcars on Thursday, May 19th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the public is invited! There will be delicious complimentary refreshments, balloons, exotic cars to check out and an opportunity to visit with some ITN volunteers about why they find it so rewarding to enable our area seniors and visually impaired adults live life to the fullest!

“This celebration sponsored by Encore Motorcars can have a huge impact on our mission by helping us to get the word out regarding our need for volunteers,” says Donna Dunio, Executive Director of ITNSarasota. “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 lost when they “gave-up” their car keys! Our volunteer drivers make this happen, but when we thank them, they tell us it’s the most rewarding type of volunteering they’ve ever done!”

ITN does substantially more than providing affordable rides for those who no longer drive. It’s helping to solve a critical public need while making our roads safer and our communities healthier. 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.

“We are deeply appreciative to our new partners at Encore Motorcars for sponsoring this Volunteer Recruitment Celebration and for all they’re doing to help us promote and fulfill our mission,” board chair, Art Mahoney said. “Volunteer drivers are our life-blood, they make the mission happen — and volunteer driving is so much fun – I know because I’m a volunteer driver!”

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. Freund, now founder and president of ITNAmerica, is a national leader in senior transportation issues. ITNSarasota is one of the fastest growing non-profits in Sarasota County and it needs volunteer driver numbers to catch-up with the needs of member riders. The fees per ride covers about 30% of the cost of providing the ride and the remaining 70% is covered through fundraising efforts making Volunteer support essential for ITN to fulfill its nonprofit mission.

For more information on how YOU can become a Volunteer Driver for ITNSarasota, please call (941) 364-7530 or visit

ITNCharlestonTrident named a finalist in Toyota’s 100 Cars For Good program

May 5, 2011

ITNCharlestonTrident is happy to announce we’ve been named a finalist in Toyota’s 100 Cars For Good program. Every day for 100 days, beginning later this month, five different organizations will compete for the most votes with the daily winners being awarded a new Toyota. The next step is for all of you to VOTE for us on Wednesday, June 15th, on Toyota’s Facebook page, The new Toyota will help us tremendously in maintaining our dignified transportation program for seniors and visually impaired individuals in Charleston County. Please visit Toyota’s Facebook page for more information on the 100 Cars For Good program and to learn more about ITNCharlestonTrident, “Opening More Than Car Doors”. Thank you.

ITNNorthCentralConnecticut™,Alternative Transportation Service for Seniors, Generations celebrate at Family Funday Sunday to raise money and awareness

May 4, 2011

Ethan and Eric Sirard, children of board members Amy-Beth and Tom Sirard of Enfield, show of the faces painted by Annabelle the Clown.

The Annual Family Funday Sunday “funraiser” for ITNNorthCentralConnecticut™ took place on Sunday, May 1st with member-riders, children, grandchildren, volunteers and supporters playing games at the Sports World Bubble in East Windsor.  “We have been proud members of the Board of Directors helping to bring alternative transportation to our seniors and visually impaired adults” said Enfield residents Amy-Beth Sirard (Senior Services Coordinator for the Town of Bloomfield) and Tom Sirard (member of the Board of Education in Enfield).

Magic beyond the ordinary was provided by magician Tom Obrien; face painting by Annabelle the clown; caricatures by Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Studios and a very special concert by the senior chorus from Enfield the Goldtones.  In addition, everyone had a chance in the 75 item tea cup raffle which included two foursomes to the Tradition Gold Club of Windsor, a birthday party and a three month membership at Healthtrex of Enfield.

ITNNorthCentralConnecticut™ offers rides 24/7 to seniors and adults with visual impairments in Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor and Windsor Locks.   This alternative transportation program uses a combination of volunteer and paid driver who provide rides in private vehicles.  There is no restriction on the purpose of a ride, and help is offered to carry packages, fold walkers, and open doors.  Members enjoy peace of mind knowing that a clean private car and a safe, experienced driver are available to them around the clock, 365 days a year.

Volunteers are needed to keep the program affordable.  Car donations are also needed.  For information call 860-758-7833 or visit