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Exceptional People

A Home for Lucas

By | Exceptional People

Our son Lucas is the center of our world. He has a brother and a sister and two loving parents. He also has autism and an intellectual disability and is non- verbal. He loved the routine and activities of being in school but now that he has aged out of the school system, he and his family are experiencing “the falling off the cliff experience” that all persons aging out of school face.

He is now at home with nothing to do on a regular basis. His parents and siblings do their absolute best to provide community outings and activities to fill his days but they all four have to work as well to provide for the family and save for Lucas’ lifetime care with supports. It’s very different from having to figure out a few years of expenses and support for an elderly parent who usually have a home to sell and money they have made to help pay for their care.

With an adult child like Lucas, his parents must be able to provide this level of support for at least 50 years or longer! This takes planning and preparation and finding the right type of housing and possible employment and coordinating transportation and job support and life skills support and help with getting meals and bathing and the list goes on and on.

Lucas’ parents have found the answer in Vanguard Landing where Lucas can have a full life of activities, employment or volunteer opportunities, contributing education and training, social activities, meals, medical support and safe and reliable transportation. He will still be a member of his family but will have his own life and place to live like everyone else. Vanguard Landing will provide the supports Lucas needs to survive and thrive while continuously building upon his skills to do for himself in whatever ways he is able

One in 68 babies are being born with autism and many of those also have an intellectual disability. We are all one step away from a family member, a friend whose child or sibling has ID/DD or a future grandchild or niece or nephew that will need what Vanguard offers. Even a car accident can sometimes cause a traumatic brain injury for a young person who will need this type of well planned and organized Intentional Community!

Lucas’ days seem to stretch into long periods of down time right now and his parents while trying their best, seek a place where he can be happy and fulfilled now that he’s an adult and that can continue when they pass away. They want the peace of mind that he is happy and well cared for and supported Long before they die. Once Vanguard Landing is built, it will be sustainable but we must get built quickly for all the people who are wanting what this program offers and are willing to pay for! Doesn’t Lucas deserve opportunities for a full life too? He did nothing wrong, has committed no crime – he just was born with the need for support.

2018 End Of Year Annual Appeal Results

By | Debra Dear, Exceptional People, News, Newsletter, Support VGL, Uncategorized, VGL Shout Out

We would like to send out a HUGE Vanguard THANK YOU to the following supporters for their generous gifts during 2017 Our End of Year Appeal. The Grand Total raised was $13,100!

Lynn Carter
Elizabeth Rosenfeld
Barry Dorans
Brad Friedman
Thirty 3 Productions
The Fain Family Fund
Ed Tyng
Katherine Katsias
John and Anita Coates
Margaret Bond-Graham
Gus McPhie
Jennifer Schmidt
Genine Cooper
Walter Bordeaux
Karen Farquer
Tim and Katie Grencewicz
Tom and Marie Bond

We know that it is because of all of you who choose to support us financially throughout the year that our dream for a community is truly on the horizon.  Thank you to every one who has given of themselves in 2017 – and here’s to an amazing 2018!



How We’re Helping Future Residents Now!

By | Exceptional People, Support VGL

As we move closer to our goal of creating accessible, beautiful homes and work opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, we are constantly looking for opportunities to serve our future participants in the here and now. We’ve seen that there is a demonstrated need in the area for transportation, and are so excited to say we’ve raised enough money for our first van! You’ve walked alongside us through a busy Spring season of fundraising, and because of you, we’ll be able to start helping future residents NOW through our transport service.

It was amazing to see how our community came together through the Over The Edge and Give Local Fundraisers, raising nearly $37,000! As we continue to raise support we hope others will also see the importance of Vanguard Landing and our impact on an underserved community. It will be life-changing for so many families, and will be successful as our community literally wraps its arms around the project, to see it developed!

There are many ways to continue supporting this amazing cause, but here are two easy things you can do:

Become a Guardian Angel
This is a program where an automatic, monthly donation of $25 or more to Vanguard Landing is established for a designated period of time. You set the start date, and the end date for this monthly donation! Click Here to fill out the form and become a blessing to VGL!

Van Pavers
Leave your mark with engraved brick for just $125, or a large brick for $250. These will be used to pave the walkways at Vanguard Landing. Bricks can be customized with words and a design. You can choose to honor a loved one, or simply show your support. Click Here  to place your order now and support the Campaign to Fund Vanguard Landing!

As always, we appreciate your support and are so excited to see this community becoming a reality. Thank you for helping make our big dreams a reality!

Shout Out from VGL: Chad Schultz

By | Exceptional People, Newsletter, VGL Shout Out

IMG_2375Chad Schultz is a 26 year old young man with Down Syndrome who absolutely loves acting and singing and recently his dream came true when he was chosen to be Mr. Mayor in the Broadway production of Seussical performed with Arts Inclusion Company!  Chad works at Hardee’s 2 mornings a week and volunteers at Food Bank on Wednesdays.  Chad plays Special Olympics basketball and is learning to play tennis.  In spite of many medical challenges throughout Chad’s life, he is a very healthy young adult who has a hearty laugh and is very concerned for other people.

Chad talks about Vanguard Landing everyday, wears his VGL wrist band with pride, and when asked what about Vanguard Landing excites you, Chad said:  “I am SO EXCITED about having a house at VGL with my friends and watching it be built!!  I will have people to play basketball with and act and sing with and ride horses and work with other people I know!  I am excited to meet new people and I am glad there will be girls there!  I like to support Vanguard Landing because it is my dream and what God has planned for me in my heart.”  Chad Schultz

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Admissions – The Time Is Now!

By | Exceptional People

This just in!  Vanguard Landing is steadily moving forward.   No longer will potential residents request a letter of intent, because our Application Packet is now available online!  The admissions packet is a fillable document, so you have the option of downloading it to your computer and filling it out or printing it and filling it out by hand.  Once you have completed the packet, mail it along with the required documents to the address specified within the packet.  Interest is high and spaces are limited so don’t wait – Click Here to get your Admissions Packet today! Read More

Shout Out from VGL – The Arts Inclusion Company

By | Exceptional People, Newsletter
11160572_10153166074304543_4844031000153214113_n       Vanguard Landing would like to give a shout out to all of our friends at Arts Inclusion Company for putting on amazing performances over the weekend.  11008644_10153166070239543_3460702746487133357_nIndividuals with a variety of abilities have worked so hard over the past few several months to get ready for the Seussical production and to say it was a success is an understatement!  We are so impressed with each and every individual that participated in the show.  The hard work and long hours of preparation certainly paid off and the show was a hit!  The night was full of laughter, dancing, and singing!  Tissues were a must have!10882173_10153166070254543_8017503493353233503_n
Arts Inclusion Company is a performing arts company located in Virginia Beach that includes and encourages individuals with a variety of disabilities to participate in all aspects of theatrical arts.  Arts Inclusion Company provides the necessary support to each individual and teaches them exciting skills in the areas of creative expression and interpersonal skills.  Learn more at www.artsinclusioncompany.com.  And to the talented cast members of the show – WELL DONE!!

Autism Awareness Month

By | Exceptional People, Newsletter

An individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is often characterized by social and communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotypical patterns of disorders.  For Autism Awareness Month, Vanguard Landing would like to list just a couple myths about ASD –

Myth – Individuals with autism have no feelings.
Fact – Individuals with autism certainly do not lack feelings, what is difficult is expressing them. Individuals with autism often lack the ability to express their feelings appropriately, but they feel happiness, sadness, and excitement just like anyone else.

Myth – Individuals with autism prefer to be by themselves.
Fact – Individuals with autism have the same desire to interact and socialize with their peers just as anyone else, but may lack some skills to effectively carry on social interactions.

Myth – Individuals with autism cannot learn social skills.
Fact – Individuals with autism certainly learn social skills, it just may take more time and more individualized training than others.

Myth – Individuals with autism are very similar to each other.
Fact – While they may have some diagnostic features in common, each individual with autism is quite unique and different from another.  Each individual with autism is differ from each other just as all people do.

Myth – Individuals with autism are unable to contribute to the community.
Fact -Individuals with autism actively participate in the community on a daily basis and are capable of doing so many different things that contribute to the well being of themselves and their community.

These are just a few of the many myths about Autism.  Individual’s with Autism are very special and unique individuals with so many different skills that they can use to contribute to the community and their own general well-being.  Remember to wear blue to show your support for Autism Awareness Month!

-Contributed by Tim Blum, Community Programs Director at Vanguard Landing

Bonfire & S’mores Event

By | Exceptional People, VGL Events

bonfire-320x320Vanguard Landing would like to thank all of our friends and their families for coming out to the Bonfire and S’mores event held on April 2nd!  It was a blast having everyone out here.  We enjoyed playing corn hole, basketball, making s’mores, enjoying the bonfire, and most importantly, meeting and making new friends!  Vanguard Landing would also like to send out a special thanks to our friends from The Fruitful Bean Coffee Co.  They were so amazing and we enjoyed all the hot drinks that they provided! Keep an eye out on our website and Facebook page for our next event – bowling!

Grateful Gathering – A Success!

By | Exceptional People, Newsletter, Support VGL

Grateful-Gathering-Pic-540x600On Saturday, November 22nd, we celebrated the multitude of blessings that Vanguard Landing has received this year at our sweet, little Farmhouse on the land that will soon be home to the whole campus! Our Presenting Sponsors, Laure & Wayne Haddock, initiated this event with their generous donation and Mrs. Brenda Day accepted the role of Lead Chairman to plan and coordinate it! Everyone enjoyed listening to our friends in THE MOST WANTED BAND, who donated their performance! The Fruitful Bean & Coffee Co. was our special featured guest and they donated ALL of the delicious coffee and hot chocolate drinks!!! Beach Bully & Dough Joes were partial sponsors and the bonfire kept us cozy! Thank you to Dennis Free, Michael Wade, and the Virginia Beach Sheriffs’ Department for the wonderful tent to shelter our band members. It was a very special afternoon gathered on our beautiful land!

A Weekend At Wintergreen

By | Exceptional People, Newsletter

Wintergreen-Weekend-720x600On February 14th, Vanguard Landing’s Community Program Director, Tim Blum, had the amazing opportunity to spend the weekend at Wintergreen Resort with 12 wonderful individuals with disabilities and several other leaders/helpers. Tim joined Young Life Capernuam, a non-profit Christian organization that focuses on building friendships with kids with disabilities, to spend the day at Wintergreen tubing, learning about the environment at Wintergreen, and spending time together getting to laugh and make jokes all day long. Also while at Wintergreen, everyone got to enjoy some hot chocolate, some unique and hilarious puppet shows put on by the kids themselves, and they even got the chance to see a snake during feeding time.

The weekend offered the kids with disabilities the chance to do something they may not get to do very often and to do it with people that really care about them. Young Life Capernaum focuses on reaching kids with disabilities across the Hampton Roads area and provide them opportunities to do amazing things such as fun weekend trips to Wintergreen, clubs where they play games and have dance parties, and week long summer camp! Tim loves being a part of Young Life Capernuam and looks forward to building amazing friendships with individuals with disabilities for many years to come!