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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One Comment

  1. cindy
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Mike with wife Pam(behind every great man is a Great Woman) yoked together make a great pair/ example of when people TEAM together everything is possible. No I in We or Team. I first met when attending demonstration of dogs AT AIRPORT HOTEL(paid for out of pocket) because the Lakeland VA CBOC and powers that be attempted to prohibit information of veterans helping veterans. I Thank God that the month before, I saw the illegal poster and the next appt I asked a vet with a dog standing outside if knew anything of the demonstration I heard about. He gave me Mike and Pam’s card.
    The other great nominees are just as deserving of grants of assistance. I choose Halley’s k-9S for vets as they help all the others.
    1. By having a companion animal the needs have to be met and what better positive reinforcement of a wagging tail and lick when forced to go out in fresh air. A reason to move/live which to prevent loss of limbs from non use and poor health from inactivity.
    2. Some if not most of Halley’s k-9s come from animal shelters. Articles recognize their success of use for animals and training involved to place in just the right home. I have and currently do benefit from people’s animals that have come from animal shelters , I have volunteered to walk pets and just sit by someone’s side and visit enjoying stroking the animals. My daughter’s dog was even rescued from a pound and miraculously found 3 months later in a loving home able to care for her (after daughters friend had to take the dog to the pound my daughter couldn’t face that failure in her life again.) Now that’s foster care. I even got to visit the dog that I couldn’t afford to care for and daughter moved across country near her father national guard, because I couldn’t afford or take care of her. It was very difficult 2 years later at that visiting reunion to haul the dog out of the car when she jumped in , but it was so good to know and still get reports that she has a good life.
    3.If kids had parents able to care for them, then the kids may not end up in foster care in first place. I considered official foster care for my children so many times over my 30 years of VA connected disability due to lack of assistance from VA. Even once kids full grown need connect understand past.
    4.the attendant I had, on the demonstration day, brought her unemployed vet husband and 3 children at my request. One of which is a special needs child. Halleys k’9s dogs, of the placed animals, there for demonstration and the owners were given another opportunity to practice in public and another situation. The special needs child was not over whelmed by his fear of dogs, because all the dogs (even those in training ) behaved. The kids were given lessons of approaching animals.
    5. a companion dog is a family member and would therefore benefit the whole family to include assisting those younger ones at community/school activities giving reassurance that their support is there at their side. Just as one of the demonstrator recipients expressed thanks to mike and pam that day in giving back her life. Words can never describe that exchange.
    In conclusion I would love Haleys k-9’s to receive the grant award to be able to expand to continue helping all the other great finalist organizations activities.
    Sincerely, cindy