2017 Friend of the Year – Don Germaise
Don Germaise is a well-trusted member of our RMHC family. He is a shift volunteer at the Tampa House, official emcee for our Storybook Ball, and participates on several committees including the ball auction committee where he procures high end items for our silent and live auctions. Don is a “professional” volunteer, giving of his time and talents to many Tampa Bay charities in order to better our community and help its citizens. We can’t think of a better person to honor with our 2017 Friends Award. Thank you for all you do for our families Don!
FES offers custom energy efficient lighting upgrades at zero capital cost to its customers. We believe that the positive impact of partnership with FES can be instrumental for customers to grow their businesses. FES’s customers can enjoy an improved and more productive work environment utilizing cash resources for investment and growth rather than spending on light fixtures or energy costs.
FES is proud of its all-around positive impact for customers, suppliers, contractors, partners and the environment. It is natural for FES to extend this positive attitude to charities that are important to the organization. The importance and quality of the work performed by RMHC has been praised by all the customers that have partnered with FES. The positive impact resulting from RMHC initiatives is perfect as it aligns with the support FES and its partners already make to help children.
Maintenance Care is a free CMMS (computerized maintenance management software) solution designed to increase the efficiency of work orders, preventative maintenance, and asset management. Maintenance Care has donated their system for use at Ronald McDonald House Charities Tampa Bay and we are most grateful.
2016 Friend of the Year – Irene Copley
She’s been a Bay Area fixture longer than the Tampa Bay Rays have been playing baseball, longer than USF has been fielding a football team, and almost as long as show tunes have been belted from the stage of the Straz Center. Probably even longer than people have been stuck on US 19. Over the past 37 years, Irene Copley has touched the lives of thousands of families. In 2016, Irene was honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning as one of their Lightning Community Heroes, resulting in a donation of $50,000 to our organization. She was also selected as our RMHCTB Friend of the Year.
Now 92 and legally blind, Copley said she still feels like a 40-year-old. The life philosophy? “People who volunteer are happier and live longer. Keep busy for a clear mind. Use it or lose it.”
2015 Friend of the Year – ImageFirst
In just over two years ImageFirst has donated more than $66,000 of donated laundry services. According to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay’s CEO Janice Davis, “ImageFirst is a dream come true for us! Making the lives of our pediatric families less stressful is our primary goal, and this donation truly makes a difference.”
Each year, RMHC Tampa Bay honors an individual or company who has made a significant impact on our organization.
Vickii Walters has been a long-standing friend and generous donor for the past fifteen years. Vickii has been the creative force behind the Storybook Ball since its inception, and has donated back half of her event production fee for each of those years. She has made each gala come to life through her hands-on talents and that of her crew and husband Victor.
Vickii has trained us well and we feel confident that we are ready to take the next steps that will ensure our ball continues to dazzle our guests and raise crucial funds for the operation of our four houses.
The Toymakers make beautiful, handmade wooden toys for our families. You will see their handiwork in all three of our Houses. If you would like to help them out with supplies, start a chapter in your area or contact this wonderful group of guys, please visit their site at http://www.thetoymakers.org
In February 2013, the Toymakers delivered their 300,000th toy!