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Ready for Life honors Founders' Award and MVP Award winners at Changing Lives Luncheon

The Ready for Life Founders' Award is given in honor of our founders David Fischer, Gerry Hogan,  Bud Risser, and Kathy Mize, who remains our CEO today. The recipients of this award are those who have joined with RFL to ensure the legacy of the work started by our founders continues.  


FOUNDERS' AWARD 2024 WINNER – The Suncoast Kingfish Classic Group

The Suncoast Kingfish Classic came to us in partnership over 10 years ago and made RFL the beneficiaries of their tournaments. They’ve donated over $350,000 to RFL over the years, and become members of the Ready for Life Family in every sense of the word. 

 

In addition to their outstanding generosity and hard work, this amazing group designed a way to hire young adults to work their multi-day tournaments and give opportunities for the former foster youth we serve to connect to the fishing community, learn the sport, and a lot about work ethic!

 

To the Farner Family, Erika Almond, and our mutual friend Larry Sweeney who connected us all those years ago, and all those involved with the Suncoast Kingfish Classic - Thank you!


FOUNDERS' AWARD 2024 WINNER  Santa’s Angels

Over 12 years ago, Santa’s Angels said yes to our request for some help during the Holidays, and then they decided they would provide gifts for ALL the little ones at RFL – the children of the former foster youth we serve. Each year they provide hundreds of presents, and boxes of food. As if that were not enough, a few years ago, Mike Brown their President came to us and said, they would like to do even more to help the young adults we serve who are homeless.  

 

And that they DID! Santa’s Angels built the “Good Day Store” in our Emergency Needs Pantry and took over providing the hygiene items and laundry supplies we needed for the day stop shower and laundry facility free of charge to former foster youth who need them. 

 

This Bright, Beautiful Room is full of encouragement and dignity, along with things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, and even tents, tarps, sunscreen, and bug spray for those who are sleeping outdoors. 

 

One of the Santa’s Angels Board Members, Michelle Metropolis comes to Ready for Life every week to restock supplies. The clients and all of us on staff adore her and she brightens everyone’s day. 

 

Mike Brown, for your vision, and for the dedication of everyone at Santas Angels thank you.



FOUNDERS' AWARD WINNER – Jeni Mitchell 

Incredibly special to us are, Jeni Mitchell and her husband Bruce who have been involved with RFL from the beginning. Early on, they had asked us what some of our most urgent and biggest needs were because they wanted to find a way to help with the challenges faced by those we serve. 

 

One of those areas is in dental care because so many of those we serve did not get the regular checkups and dental care they needed as children. This leaves many with tooth decay and needs for cosmetic dentistry to repair the health and brightness of their smiles. 

 

Jeni, a former dental hygienist had an idea to create a dental program for Ready for Life that would take care of these extremely expensive and critical needs. She created a foundation that would honor a dentist friend they adored. The Dr. David Zabrocki Dental Program at Ready for Life was born to engage local dentists, fund dental needs, and provide education and learning so that the young adults we serve have ongoing, regular dental care.  

 

Because of this funding, Jeni, and her amazing team of dentists we have helped many young adults and one special story comes to mind… a beautiful young woman at RFL was getting married and had been missing her front teeth for years. She was able to walk down the aisle to meet her husband to be with a brand new smile and no more of the pain she had been suffering. She was so proud of her brand-new smile. Many young adults have had their wisdom teeth out and even one young man was able to get braces.  Since August of 2019, this dental program has helped nearly 30 young adults and approximately $65,000 in savings because of the generosity of our local dentists. Jenni and your team at Dr. David Zabrocki Foundation, thank you! WE are ALL smiling Ear to Ear because of you!



MVP AWARD WINNER - Jennifer Dittman

Ready for Life’s MVP Award is given annually to one individual who has gone above and beyond to assist the organization.  This person offers their personal generosity, their connections, and many hours dedicated to helping meet the needs of the organization.


This year Ready for Life’s MVP is Jennifer Dittman! Jennifer serves on our Board of Directors, she and her company are major sponsor of many events, and if any of you have ever participated in one of our auctions, you have seen her amazing creativity as she is the person who puts most of our baskets together.  Hundreds of hours go into creating amazing auction items. Thank you, Jennifer, for all that you do and your constant leadership, support, and dedication to Ready for Life and those we serve!



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