Annual event provides $91,000 to area veteran organizations

PENSACOLA, Florida – Giving back to the community and supporting veterans throughout Northwest Florida were the overarching themes today when Gulf Power employees presented donations to three organizations from across the area dedicated to providing assistance to military members and their families.

Stan Connally, Chairman, president and CEO of Gulf Power, along with members of the energy company’s service organization, Transformers, presented checks totaling more than $91,000 to representatives from Santa Rosa County’s Veterans Memorial Vets to VA Program, the Air Force Enlisted Bob Hope Village of Fort Walton, and Gulf Coast State College’s Military and Veteran Emergency Fund (Panama City). The donations were from the proceeds of the 4th Annual Clay Shoot for Veterans held Nov. 3, with each organization receiving a check for $30,633.

“Gulf Power and our employees are proud to be a part of this community and to support the military, both active duty and retired, and this is a day we have the opportunity to demonstrate that support,” said Connally. “We live in an area with one of the largest concentrations of military service men and women, and veterans who remain in the area or move back. Our employees are committed to serving our community and veterans through events like this.”

The Gulf Coast State College’s Military and Veteran Emergency Fund in Panama City provides assistance for veterans and their dependents pursuing higher education. The donation, said Jeff Dibenedictis, president of the GCSC Foundation, will go a long way in providing scholarships and other financial assistance.

“We are thankful for partners such as Gulf Power,” said Dibenedictis. “This donation will be the catalyst for our ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign, and will be a gap filler for students from the assistance they receive from other Veteran assistance programs.”

The Bob Hope Enlisted Village of Fort Walton, provides long-term and assisted living for surviving spouses of retired enlisted U.S. Air Force airmen. The facility serves more than 500 residents who are primarily the widows of retired military airmen. According to Brooke McLean, CEO of the Air Force Enlisted Village, the donation helps provide services and programs for those current and future residents.

“Some residents come to stay with us for a short time, while others, like 103-year old Mary Gilmore who has lived with us for more than 40 years, stay for a very long time,” said McLean. “We are committed to taking care of our family and couldn’t do it without the help of community partners such as Gulf Power.”

The Santa Rosa County’s Vets to VA program provides transportation for veterans to receive medical treatment and appointments. During 2015, the nonprofit organization was responsible for providing more than 400 trips for veterans who would not otherwise have transportation.

“There are nearly 24,000 veterans in Santa Rosa County alone, many of whom have fallen on hard times,” said Don Salter, District 3 County Commissioner and former Gulf Power employee. “We provide door-to-door transportation for veterans to be able to make it to important medical appointments. As the veteran population grows, we need to be able to take care of them, and through the generosity of Gulf Power, we will be able to continue to provide transportation now and in the future.”

This is the fourth year Gulf Power employees have sponsored the annual Clay Shoot for Veterans. Over the past four years, the annual event has provided more than $300,000 to 10 different veterans organizations.


Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 450,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at


News Media Contacts:

Jeff Rogers
External Communications & Brand Manager
850-444-6243, cell 850-572-5511

Rick DelaHaya
Media Relations Supervisor
850-444-6433, cell 318-294-2338

Natalie Smith
Media Relations
850-444-6784, cell 850-375-6123