• If there is one thing in life more powerful than gratitude, it’s the ability to invest time, effort and resources into the dreams of others. In doing so, something beyond great is realized. The outcome of such selfless investment can be only described as EPIC.

    This November 19, 2010, Epic Thanks Tampa Bay will take place as a celebration of all for which we are thankful. RSVP now for the event.

    Recent Blog Posts

Chili Tasting and “Re-Gift” Auction to Celebrate and Benefit K-9′s for Vets

Pam and Mike Halley of K-9′s for Vets have been laboring for well over a year, doing all the paperwork  to become an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Just two days before Christmas they received their notification that all their hard work had finally paid off, and they are now able to operate officially as a non-profit. Their organization rescues dogs, trains them to be service dogs, and partners the dogs with veterans who have invisible disabilities (e.g., cardio-vascular conditions, seizures, PTSD, TBI, and others).

Pam and Mike would like to invite you to celebrate their achievement, offer financial and moral support for their work, and to HAVE FUN! It is also an opportunity to get rid of some of those holiday gifts that are already cluttering the top shelf of your closet and get a great deal on something useful!

CHILI TASTING & “RE-GIFTING” AUCTION TO CELEBRATE AND SUPPORT K-9′S FOR VETS

Friday, January 7, 2011   5:30 PM until….

Fellowship Hall, First United Church of Tampa, 7308 Fowler Ave., Tampa (one-half mile west of I-75)

Eat lots of good chili and desserts, bid on great “re-gifts”, and enjoy patriotic music and video.

Soft drinks provided, BYO beer or wine.

Dress code: Definitely casual – optional red, white and blue or camoflage

ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

SUGGESTED MINIMUM DONATION:

$5.00 per person OR donate a pot of your favorite chili or a dessert OR donate a “re-gift” for the auction.*

Also, 50/50 DRAWING tickets:  $1.00 each or six for $5.00

We hope you can come, but if you can’t and would still like to support the good cause, think about donating a pot of chili, soft drinks, corn chips or corn bread or some cheese & crackers or a dessert to go with, and/or a “re-gift” for the auction. Also, tax deductible cash donations are always appreciated!  THANK YOU!

*FOR MORE INFO, CONTACT PAM HALLEY @ 813-503-8861 or email pam@k9sforveterans.org

*If you plan to make an “in-kind” donation of food or an auction item, please contact Pam Halley ASAP – no later than Wednesday, January 5, 2011.

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Tune In and Be A Part Of Epic Thanks Tampa Bay No Matter Where You Are In The World!

Tune in to Epic Thanks Tampa Bay on Friday November 19, 2010
6:00pm – 10:00pm est

Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”
— Randy Pausch

You can “chip in” below to donate to Epic Change and Halley’s K9′s for Veterans!

Do you know anyone that is selflessly giving their resources and time to change the world and their community for the better?

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Bob Evans Supports Our Changemaker

…and you can, too.

On Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11, you can do your part to honor the women and men who’ve served bravely for our country and support our 2010 Changemaker; Halley’s K9s for Veterans.

The Bob Evans restaurant in the Carrollwood area of Tampa (16314 North Dale-Mabry Hwy) will be featuring Halley’s K9s for Veterans as the recipient of the funds raised as part of that store’s Community Fun Night.

Please be sure to download and print out the Bob Evans Fundraiser Flyer which must be presented at the time of your meal in order for the donation to be made.

For a map of where the Bob Evans restaurant is located, please click here.

Thank you all for the continued support and we look forward to seeing you at Bob Evans on Thursday night.

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Epic Thanks – 15 Day Countdown!

Please come out and join us at PUSH Ultra Lounge in St. Pete for our Epic Thanks celebration to benefit Halley’s K9s for Veterans!

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Change Is Good

They say change is constant. They say change for the sake of change is not good. They say change happens.

We here at Epic Thanks Tampa Bay are driven by the vision, principles and direction of Epic Change. We also believe in everyone’s ability to positively affect change in their community. For us, change is a good thing. That being said, it’s a bit funny and ironic we’ve had to undergo a change of our own.

Due to circumstances well beyond our control, we had to endure a quick change with regards to the venue for our event on November 19th. Our celebration of gratitude in honor of Halley’s K9s for Veterans will now be held at PUSH Ultra Lounge in St. Pete.

Although this change signifies some additional and hurried work for all of us involved with the planning of the event, we’re also very excited at the new opportunities the move in venue has presented. PUSH is an exciting venue located in the heart of a vibrant community. They’ve been simply wonderful to work with and very accommodating in our time of need.

We are sincerely grateful to PUSH and we hope you all come out and join us for a wonderful evening on November 19th.

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Announcing the 2010 Changemaker!

There are moments in life when hard work and determination go unnoticed.  It’s the product of good character and positive work ethic, and usually it’s recognized only by the person investing their own time, sweat and tears into their effort. Every once in a while, however, fate intervenes, casts a light on the anonymous and lifts up these works of good for the entire world to see.

As our voting period came to a close, we at Epic Thanks Tampa Bay were very excited to tally the results and see which of our five finalists received the most support from the members of our community.  All five individuals and programs nominated are worthy candidates, and we feel each deserves continued backing for their efforts.  Unfortunately, we could select only one finalist to be this year’s winner and the person whom we’ll be celebrating at our event on November 19.

It is with much honor and giddy anticipation that we’re pleased to announce this year’s Tampa Bay area Changemaker as determined by you the voters.  That distinguished designation goes to Mike Halley and his program Halley’s K-9s for Veterans.

Halley’s K-9s for Veterans provides trained service and companion dogs for disabled Veterans.   Working with dogs that are donated to the program or rescued from a shelter, Halley’s K-9s trains veterans to care for their pets over a period of several weeks so the new teams can learn to work together as one.

Following his career as a United Stated Marine, Mike Halley spent much time dealing with issues for which he could not identify the cause.  It was not until 1988 that he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and he has spent the last twenty two years trying to learn how to live with his condition.  In March of 2007, Mike trained his Doberman pinscher, Porsche, to be his personal service dog, and this has led to making Mike’s life much so much better.  The following year was filled with other veterans asking him “Who trained your dog?” and “Can you train a dog for me?”

As a result, Mike founded Halley’s K-9s for Veterans in October of 2008, to provide obedient dogs to disabled veterans of all war eras, to help these veterans overcome their invisible disabilities in order to become more productive and functional, and also to inform the public of the need for service dogs other than Seeing Eye dogs.  Mike and his wife have spent $25k of their own money raising, feeding and training service dogs to give to disabled American Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other invisible disabilities.

The kennel is primarily funded through Mike’s disability check from the Veteran’s Administration as well as some minor donations from friends.  All dogs used are either donated to the program or rescued.  To date, Halley’s K-9s for Veterans has placed and/or trained twenty eight teams, and many of the service dogs placed have detected life-threatening illnesses or conditions for their new owners.

As this year’s Changemaker, Mike hopes to grow Halley’s K-9s for Veterans into the organization for placing well trained service dogs that perform life saving “miracles” on a regular basis.  Mike’s plans for Halley’s K9s include obtaining a used RV for housing veterans that live fifty miles away or more during their intensive training period with their new partner, using the funds to pay for the program’s veterinary bill, purchase additional agility equipment for the training of the dogs, equipping the kennel for winter weather and upgrading the physical facilities surrounding the kennel.

We hope you come out and join us on November 19 as we celebrate Mike’s amazing efforts and help raise money for his incredibly worthy cause.

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Bingo Fundraiser At Hamburger Mary’s

Epic Thanks Tampa Bay invites you to come play Bingo for a cause.

Join us on Wed. Oct. 27, 2010 at Hamburger Mary’s in Ybor

See you there!!!

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Our Top Five Nominees Have Been Chosen

As a committee, Epic Thanks Tampa Bay has chosen the top five nominees finalists. These top 5 nominees finalists, listed below alphabetically, are all equally amazing in their positive impact to the Tampa Bay community.

  • Mike Halley – Halley’s K-9s for Veterans: Halley’s K-9s for Veterans provides trained companion dogs for Disabled American Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other invisible disabilities.
  • Bill Hansbury – Boston Bill Foundation: The Boston Bill Foundation assists individuals who are facing the loss of a limb or are in need of a prosthetic device to regain their mobility and ability to live life to its fullest.
  • Gerry Hogan & Bud Risser – Ready for Life Pinellas: Ready for Life Pinellas assists youths aging out of the Florida Foster Care system become responsible, independent adults as they turn 18 years of age.
  • Martha Murray – Taking Action for Pets Tampa Bay: Taking Action for Pets Tampa Bay raises awareness of abused and neglected animals and directly assists the Tampa Bay animal sheltering and fostering community.
  • Russ Oberbroeckling – Buddy Baseball League: The Buddy Baseball League was founded for children with special needs to play on teams alongside non-challenged children, and benefits both the kids and their families.

Epic Thanks Tampa Bay would like to thank everyone that nominated local Changemakers.  The decision to narrow all nominations to five finalists was a difficult one, and it shed a bright light on the wonderful and giving  community for which all of Tampa Bay should be thankful.
You can vote every day at epicthankstampabay.com/vote

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The Inspiration of Gratitude

There are few things as inspiring as being reminded about the goodness of others.

With the closing of nominations for Tampa Bay area changemakers, I was taken aback by the number of nominations received and the amazing stories of everyday people making a difference in our community.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day life and focus on internal issues and internal priorities.  In reviewing the list of nominees – our selection of top five finalists will be announced very soon – I was reminded the spirit of giving and the magnificence of gratitude are not found in looking in but rather in reaching out.

I hope that as you review the list of finalists for the Epic Thanks Tampa Bay 2010 Changemaker, you feel as inspired as I did and you do your part to help make a difference in our community.  Tell your friends about Epic Thanks Tampa Bay, encourage them to vote for one of our five finalists, and invite them to attend our event on November 19.  If your situation allows, consider making a donation or better yet becoming a sponsor of the event.

There are so many things for which I am thankful, and I am especially grateful for the many women and men who give of themselves daily to help others and, unbeknownst to them, inspire me to do my part.  I hope they inspire you as well.

Thank you.

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Epic Thanks Tampa Bay Seeks Sponsors

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
— Aesop

Epic Thanks Tampa Bay’s main focus is to raise money for one local changemaker that the community chooses via public voting. The way we are looking to raise money is by throwing an EPIC event in Tampa, bringing the community together and acknowledging the selfless efforts of the chosen changemaker and of course how awesome Tampa is.

We are completely non-profit and have a team of committed individuals that are donating not only their time, but their skills and services to help bring this event together. With that said there are a lot of things that are needed to make the event awesome and this is why we are seeking sponsors.

Here is our Sponsorship Package

Each sponsorship level listed below includes benefits of the less expensive levels, except for ticket quantities.

Encore – $500+

  • Name in brochure
  • Text link from website
  • Announcement Tweet & Facebook
  • 2 tickets

Acclaimed – $1,000+

  • Name on event slideshow
  • Name on event t-shirt
  • 5 tickets

Grand – $2,500+

  • Half table at event to promote your company and distribute information
  • Logo on brochure
  • Small logo on back of event t-shirt
  • Logo link and custom text link
  • EpicTweets – Weekly recognition of sponsorship
  • 10 tickets

Premier – $5,000+

  • Logo on Twitter Background
  • Medium logo on back of event t-shirt
  • Logo on Facebook Sponsor Tab
  • Logo on Wall Banner at Event
  • MC Recognition at Event
  • 15 tickets

Epic – $10,000+

  • Included in all ads
  • Large logo on back of event t-shirt
  • Full table at event to promote your company and distribute information
  • Banner/Ad on ETTB Home Page
  • Full Page Recognizing Sponsor on ETTB Website
    • 300 character limit
    • Links to site & social media profiles
  • Video – 15 to 30 second spot @ event
  • 25 tickets

You can contact sponsor@epicthankstampabay.com for more details.

Mark your calendars! Epic Thanks Tampa Bay will take place on November 19, 2010

Stay tuned! Voting of the top five changemakers will be starting soon!

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