Gulf Power Clay Shoot for America’s Heroes scores more than $92,000 for veterans
Gulf Power News
For immediate release – Nov. 7, 2017
“The money raised at the Clay Shoot means we can give the veterans a better quality of life near the end of their lives,” said Deegins, director of Bay County Veterans Service Office. “Many of these veterans have no family or no income. Some of them can’t eat solid food because they need dental care that the state does not pay for. We take care of their dental care. We provide activities, and iPads so they can connect with loved ones. We take them on outings and upgrade their old TVs.”
Friends of Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans Nursing Home along with Pathways for Change and 3rd Chance Inc. are the three charities benefiting from proceeds from this year’s Clay Shoot. Since its inception in 2013, it has raised more than $300,000 in support of veteran-related services across Northwest Florida. In its fifth year, the Clay Shoot proceeds have increased from $53,000 to $91,900 in 2016.
With this year’s event attracting a record number of shooters –– more than 160 –– proceeds are expected to exceed last year’s $91,900. These donations will provide a much-needed infusion into the budgets of the charities –– two of which provide services to help female and male veterans transition out of homelessness.
Connie Bookman, Chief Executive Officer of Pensacola-based Pathways for Change, said the Clay Shoot donation, unlike others they receive, can be earmarked for the operating costs for The Clinton Cox Residence, a new 12-bed transitional facility for homeless female veterans, some of whom are recovering from substance abuse and PTSD.
“I love that Gulf Power allows us to use this money for our operating cost,” she said. “This is huge for us. It will pay for our utilities … our house mother and other costs.”
The Rev. Cecil Williams with 3rd Chance Inc., is breaking ground on a homeless, male veterans transitional home, The Lazarus Project in Fort Walton Beach, this month. He said the Clay Shoot dollars will help provide veterans who have struggled to work their way out of homelessness with a stable environment.
“Permanent housing seems to be a stabilizing factor in the lives of the homeless,” he said and pointed out other services that will be provided to build a strong foundation for success. “We’ll help with PTSD and behavior counseling, healthcare and new clothes. We’ll promote self-determination to help them transition from a one-bedroom apartment back into a family or into their own home.”
Verdell Hawkins, Gulf Power Community Relations manager, pointed out that the Clay Shoot is a popular event because of the high concentration of veterans and active duty military living in the Northwest Florida.
“Gulf Power is passionate about this event and other veteran-focused events because so many of our customers, our employees and friends are veterans,” said Hawkins. “The Clay Shoot was a kick off to this week’s observance of Veterans Day, a time when we honor the more than 150 veterans who work for Gulf Power and the countless men and women in our communities who so proudly served our country.”
Since 2013, the Clay Shoot for America’s Heroes has supported the following veterans’ organizations:
Gulf Power is an investor-owned energy provider with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 460,000 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 MyGulfPower.com or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at GulfPowerNews.com.
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