A Big Thank You

A letter to the volunteers and supporters of the Venice Presbyterian Church Day 4 Hope event:

We thank our Lord for you.  Your willingness to give of your time, talents and treasures to help those less fortunate kids on Saturday July 27th was an incredible blessing.

We received requests from 137 kids to be served and 111 from 63 families showed up at the event.  Approximately 300 volunteers made the day a special time for the kids and their families.  Free medical, dental and eye exams, fluoride treatments, haircuts and photos of each child and family.  Lots of food to share in two nourishing meals and then the resource room chock full of goodies for the kids (see listing attached of those organizations, professionals and churches who supported this event).  A fire truck, two police cars and an ice cream truck were on campus for the kids to enjoy. 

The resource room is the last station because they literally take home a grocery cart full of items for each child.  Backpack full of school supplies, care bag of hygiene products, police ID kits and gifts, two bags of groceries, Detwiler’s bag of fresh fruit, Tropicana orange juice, wooden toy, and three $25 gift cards from Old Navy to buy clothes and shoes.  WOW!  The kids and parents were amazed and so very thankful.  All these things allow the child to enter school on an equal playing field with their classmates.

We are incredibly thankful for each of you who gave of your time and talents and donated the funds to host and pay for this event and prayed for good weather.  God answered all your prayers and we had a beautiful day!

It costs approximately $18,000 to pay for the resource room supplies, photography and medical/dental/vision test supplies and the wonderful food for breakfast and lunch to host this event.  Over $14,000 was donated by you, the VPC congregation, for this event.  $3,000 was received from Grace United Methodist Church and $500 from New Life Church. 

This event could not have been accomplished without the incredible leadership staff which helped accomplish this event.  Bobbie Gilbert invited and signed up the kids and kept track of the families; Richard Gilbert made certain they (and all the volunteers) received two nutritious meals.  Robin Maher Frost signed them in when they arrived, and Gail Thompson and Linda Ford organized and empowered the Ambassadors to share the love of Jesus as they escorted the families through the many stations of activities.  Karen Norwood, Mary Gregory and Kelli Coffey provided direction and oversight for all the professionals: doctors, dentists, nurses, practical nurses, hair stylists, barbers, and photographers.  Genna Sarikoki shared fun times with the kids with books, face painting and games; Marcia Bickmore and Carolyn Wilson, with Stephen Ministers, shared the love of Jesus in the Chapel, prayed with the families, and gave each child a new Bible and more books.  Ted Stark and Jim Turner coordinated safety around the entire campus, Will Bernstein’s team provided directions for parking, and Nick Clemmer coordinated setting up and cleaning up.  Finally, Tom and Laura Saye coordinated and distributed huge piles of food and goods to each child and family with smiles and love in the resource room.  We are very thankful for each of these people and their dedication to Day 4 Hope.  The leftover groceries will be given to CAM and supplies taken to Immokalee.

May the light of Jesus, which shined so brightly Saturday, grow in these children’s and their families’ hearts forever.

To God be the Glory!

Fred & Cindy Gossman, Event Coordinators

A big Thank You to the following whose generosity made Day 4 Hope possible:

Sponsoring Organizations

All Faiths Food Bank

British Open Pub

Community Foundation

Darrell’s BBQ


Family Promise

Florida Department of Health

Gold Rush BBQ

Hope 4 Communities

Marco’s Pizza


Patterson Foundation

Pregnancy Solutions


Salvation Army

Sarasota County Library

Serve Florida/One Christ One City

Sunny Day’s Ice Cream

Thrift Boutique by Project Give

Venice Fire Department

Venice Police Department

Sponsoring Professionals

Allen Weinstein, PA

Brenda Whitmore, MA/LPN

Carol Carlson, RN

Debbie Parker Photography

Dr. Andrew Swenson

Dr. Campbell Gaunt:  Center for Sight, Englewood

Dr. Christine Koval:  Koval & Koval Dental Associates

Dr. Christopher Jefferson

Dr. Jason Alter & Dr. Stephanie Cole:  The Smile Center 

Ehrlich & Sallapudi Orthodontics

Emily Koehl, RN   

Grace Bomarito, Dental Assistant

James Griffith Salon

Laura Powell Salon


Making Waves Hair Salon

Mary Pillsbury, RN

Melody Thompson, RN 

Millennium Health Care, Venice         

Patty Gaunt

Penny Insel, RN    

Puttin on the Ritz Salon

Samaritan Counseling Services

Sherry Zimmerman, Retired RN

SmartStyle Hair Salon

Terri Knight, Nurse Practitioner

The Eye Associates

The Men’s Room

West Coast Hair Company

Sponsoring Churches

Church of Hope    

Coast Life


First Baptist Church

Grace Community Bible Church

Grace United Methodist Church

Jewish Congregation of Venice

Lift Church

New Day, Port Charlotte

New Hope Community Church

New Life Church

Trinity Presbyterian Church