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A Day In The Life

By | Newsletter

As we get closer to breaking ground at Vanguard Landing, we can’t help but get excited about the daily happenings to come. One of the most exciting things about what we’re building is that we’ll be able to give an amazing group of people the opportunity to do very normal, every day tasks.

Follow us through a potential day in the life of a future Vanguard Landing resident!

Tom likes routine and sets his alarm to get up early even on weekends. On this particular day, he is anxious to get to the bakery. He knows he has a lot of cookies to bake with his co-workers, as they sold out of almost everything the day before. They are all good but the all chocolate with white chocolate chunks are this week’s best seller and are gone!

His one-bedroom row house is fixed exactly the way he likes it and is his self-proclaimed “bachelor pad”. He heads over to the café, and the chef knows his dietary needs to keep his weight to a healthy level. He loves omelets and loves the vegetarian with tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. The bell peppers were grown on-site in the Van Garden High tunnels. After breakfast, he gets to the bakery and works with the team to make dough and start scooping cookies before the customers arrive. The manager reminds them that they have a large order being picked up at 1:00pm by a local realtor for his big Open House.

After all that scooping, Tom is ready to shoot some hoops with his friends at the Sportsplex in the neighborhood, so he goes and changes clothes and enjoys himself before dinner!

We’re so grateful for your continued support, and patience, as we work to make this lifestyle a reality for so many adults just like “Tom”!

Toss Your Boss or Push Your Principal For A Good Cause!

By | Newsletter

We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening in the next few months, and hope you’ll join us!

Over The Edge
We’re getting closer to this adrenaline-fueled fundraiser. You’ll go OVER the TOP of the beautiful Holiday Inn Oceanside on the Boardwalk of Virginia Beach!

Here’s the thing though- EVERYTHING is better when we come together as a team! So, how do you make that happen?

Your company or friend group signs up as a team and raises the money Together to send your boss or a chosen co-worker OVER The EDGE! We will come and present to your office to get you started if you want!!!

Here are some ways:

Toss Your Boss– all employees collect funds to send them as a rapeller!

Sign up as your company’s name and everyone pitch in $ and have a drawing for who gets to represent at the event as a rapeller! We will offer you the chance to send two for a discount of $300!!! Instead of $1200 each……you can send 2 employees for $2100 instead of $2400!!!

Push Your Principal!!– school signs your Principal up and all work together to raise the $1200 ! Schools can compete for who can raise the most to Push Their Principal!

Soar for the Scouts– Den leader participates and their scouts raise the funds!

The ideas are endless!!!!

This is a WIN WIN as YOUR company, business, civic group, etc gets advertising while helping in YOUR community!! Click here to sign up!

Also, we’d also like to say a big thank you to our sponsors who have so generously donated.

“Roped In”  Level Sponsors: Stanton Partners and Holiday Inn Oceanside
“Safe Landing” Level Sponsors: Pace Collaborative, Towne Bank
“High Five” Level Sponsors: Veterans United Home Loans, Alperin Law
“Just Hanging Around”  Level Sponsors: Covington Hendrix Anderson Architects, Nationwide Insurance, The Miller Group, Entercom

Give Local 757
You’ll hear more about this amazing event next month, but here’s the breakdown. Give Local 757 is an event geared toward raising funds AND raising awareness about amazing organizations all over Hampton Roads. For 24 hours beginning at midnight on May 9, people will be donating, and we hope you’ll support Vanguard Landing on this incredible day!

Last year we exceeded our goal of $10,000 with a total of $17,809. YOU did that, and we are so grateful.

My Heart Belongs to Vanguard Landing

By | Newsletter

The month of February is a great time to talk about the heart of giving, and why we do what we do. It’s also a great time to say THANK YOU to our generous supporters. There are many ways to give of your heart to our organization, and we appreciate it!

Each one of us has a reason for pouring our love into this community AND this dream, but sometimes it helps to hear the words that have been sent our way.

My heart belongs to Vanguard Landing because my daughter’s future is in this inclusive community of her peers where her independent life can begin.”

My heart belongs to Vanguard Landing because of the way my son’s eyes light up when he talks about the exciting things he will get to do there.”

My heart belongs to Vanguard Landing because my son deserves a happy, fulfilling and safe future in a nurturing and loving environment.”

My heart belongs to Vanguard Landing because I want to live in my own place but I need help daily to do that.  I want to be with my friends every day.”

My heart belongs to Vanguard Landing because it is my hope for a secure and happy future for my adult sons’ with special needs.”

My heart belongs to Vanguard Landing because I believe that everyone has the right to live, work and play where they can achieve the best life they can without fear of being in danger or without limitations.”

If you’re looking for a way to be a part of everything going on around here, we have some ideas:

When Vanguard Landing posts something online that moves you, share it with your friends! We use Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about all we have going on, and a simple share can go a long way.

Subscribe to our newsletter (you can join at the top of our website homepage). This is another way to stay up-to-date on Vanguard Landing happenings.

Choose Vanguard Landing when shopping through the Amazon Smile portal, and a portion goes back to our community!

Sign Up to go OVER THE EDGE.
The next event you can take part in is Over The Edge 2017! This exciting event sends participants rappelling down the side of a building. NO BIG DEAL.

At Vanguard we want to invite everyone to become part of our story and our mission, and we appreciate every bit of support – whether in the form of donations or precious time. We thank all of our loyal supporters for your kindness and generosity in helping make the Vanguard Landing dream a reality.

Looking Forward to 2017 with Vanguard Landing

By | News, Newsletter, Support VGL, VGL Events

2016 was an incredible year for the Vanguard Landing project and all that occurred propels us closer to the reality of being able to turn the first shovel and get this community “out of the ground!’

We hope that you will continue this amazing journey as we start 2017 off with lots of excitement!

Many of us start a new year off organizing, making resolutions and challenging ourselves to make a positive impact on our lives and the community we live in. If this sounds like YOU, then we challenge you to choose Vanguard Landing as one of your resolutions to do good and help us make this year one that will certainly make a difference in the lives of the amazing and deserving individuals who so desperately need and want what VGL has to offer!

Here are some ways you can help, but there are even more ways than on this list:

  • Commit to our cause to get the dirt moving and make it a regular part of your life. To immerse yourself into something greater than yourself can really reinvigorate you!


  • Help spread the word about Our Mission by sharing our Facebook messages and our website with friends and asking them to take a look and engage them in a conversation about getting them involved whether its inviting them to an event or introducing them to us to be a part of the Construction/Development process. How the other communities we are modeled after have been successful is that the community businesses and individuals have literally “wrapped their arms” around the project to get it going! Remember, once we are fully built, we are self-sustaining for the most part!


  • It costs lots of money to develop raw land and start site work and put in utilities and if we had to pay full price for all of these things, we would never be able to afford to start or finish construction and keep our doors open. The ONLY way is for the contractors to discount their materials and labor and others give money and time to help and then the non-profit is not left with huge debt service. The goal is to serve our residents and day program participants and sustain ourselves and we just need help to get that started!


  • Sign up to volunteer for an event or a work party or talk to a group that you are involved with to get their support to give to Vanguard in their budgets. Whether its Sugar Plum Bakery holding a month of cookie sales to support us to a service organization sharing their fundraising profits with us, it all adds up!


  • The NEXT Event we are holding on May 5th – 6th to raise funds is called OVER THE EDGE and we are going to be hosting 92 Rappel spots to go OVER the Top of the beautiful Holiday Inn Oceanside on the Boardwalk of Virginia Beach!  Sign up today to grab a spot and start your fundraising page, form a company corporate team or inquire about a Sponsorship opportunity.


  • Later that same week we will be once again be participating in the awesome GIVE Local 757 Online Event! Thanks to our Donors we have increased the profits from that in a HUGE way over the last several years.


  • Watch for news of our Hearts & Hoofbeats being held this coming Fall.


We are hoping to BREAK GROUND THIS YEAR!

Vanguard Landing 2016: A Year in Review

By | Newsletter

Vanguard Landing is a vision that we knew from the start would not take shape overnight. It has been a labor of love to spread awareness, raise funds for our capital campaign, distribute the application packet for families to fill out for their loved ones in order to be added to our waiting list, and garner the support of our community through grassroots initiatives.

And we continue to do all of these things as we push forward toward creating our residential community.


2016 has been quite an exciting and eventful year for us. In case you missed it, here are some of the amazing things that have happened this year for Vanguard Landing:

– We participated in Give Local 757’s day of giving in May, and we TRIPLED our donations from last year’s event! Last year we collected $5672.88 and this year from the online and mailed donations, combined with the bonus prize money we were awarded throughout the day of giving, we collected $17,709!

– Vanguard Landing has taken shape as a venue to host community events, such as our Vanguard Assembly event in August, which offered a rare opportunity for people within the community to interact with both office holders and candidates at all levels of government, in one location, and at the same time.

– We partnered with Beach Ford and Tom Barton III to hold a Mustang Raffle, and in a surprising twist, the winner of the car decided to donate it back to us! This resulted in us raising $36,000 in raffle ticket sales leading up to the event, all of which was donated to the Vanguard Landing cause! What a beautiful display of community and charity.

– We hosted our 3rd Annual Hearts & Hoofbeats gala event, this year condensed into one day as opposed to a full weekend. Our casino-themed night was enjoyed by all, and we even had a special visitor, American Idol winner – Trent Harmon – who serenaded us and spent time with some of our future VL residents! Thanks to 106.1 New Country for making this guest appearance happen, as well as all our other amazing sponsors who truly made Hearts & Hoofbeats 2016 a night to remember.

These milestones and successful events are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the tremendous momentum our organization and community is building! We have extended our reach through our presence online and out in the community, and we are excited to have application packets rolling in from families who tell us they have been waiting for something like Vanguard Landing to be created for too long.

We aren’t stopping here. We are committed to providing a safe, person-centered community for individuals who need additional opportunities for life skills, continuing education, pre-vocational and job skill development, meaningful employment both on and off campus, life long fitness, social skills, leisure time utilization, expressive arts, friendships and continued family and community involvement.

But we can’t do this alone. We need your help. We invite you to come along on this journey with us, through making a tax-deductible end-of-year donation and helping us spread the word about this amazing resource that will soon be a beacon of hope in Virginia Beach.



Shopping Online? Support Vanguard Landing at the Same Time!

By | News, Newsletter, Support VGL

We know many of you are busy scouring the internet today for the hottest Cyber Monday deals on holiday gifts or other items you’ve been holding off on. Did you know that you can support Vanguard Landing as a non-profit organization while doing so? Here are two programs we are participating with (all year-round!), and we’d love if you checked them out:


It’s easy! If you’re shopping on Amazon, we participate with the AmazonSmile program. All if you have to do is visit AmazonSmile and select “Vanguard Landing” as your choice for a preferred organization, then start shopping! You’ll need to be sure you’re using the “Smile.Amazon.com” link each time you shop.

How does it work?

  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages.

You use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same. The only difference is the link you use to access Amazon! There is no additional charge for participating in the Amazon Smile program. However, we always encourage you to consider making a recurring or one-time donation through our website here.

Amazon Smile banner non-profit donations


We would be willing to bet that you’ll likely be shopping at Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, JCPenney or any number of the 1,700 retailers participating with the iGive program. If so, you could be making a donation to Vanguard Landing while you shop, at no extra charge to you! On average, iGive members donate around $100 to causes they care about, simply by doing the shopping they would already be doing! Members who join and support a cause can generate donations by shopping at any of the 1,772 participating stores, or by simply using a built-in search engine. There is no cost, obligation, or hidden fees. iGive always has been and always will be a free service to causes and members!

How to shop through iGive:

  • Click on this link to begin. Type in “Vanguard Landing” and select our organization from the drop-down.
  • Create an account.
  • Start shopping!

i-give link

This Year, We are Thankful for YOU

By | News, Newsletter, VGL Events

The holiday season is upon us, and as another year draws to a close, we are reminded again of how very grateful we are for the continued support we receive from our local community: Families, parents, educators, local businesses and organizations, politicians, local influencers, law enforcement and first responders, radio stations and so many others… We are forever grateful for these groups and individuals who share our vision to create this residential community for adults with disabilities. We would not have been able to raise $36,000 in our recent Mustang Raffle fundraiser or host a successful gala event with Trent Harmon providing the music and so many local businesses providing the food and entertainment for our 3rd annual Hearts and Hoofbeats. If you missed out on this event, no hard feelings and we hope to see you next year! Here are some beautiful photos that were taken by David O’Dell at this year’s Hearts & Hoofbeats:


The traditional African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” has been widely quoted in many instances, and we believe it is true here as well. For a community such as Vanguard Landing to flourish and provide alternative opportunities for a fulfilled life for adults with intellectual disabilities, the community has to understand the pressing need for it in the first place. The community must wrap its arms around these individuals and see the importance and value of creating avenues for choice rather than limiting the options that are available to this population and their families.

The reality is that too many of our family members and friends with intellectual disabilities have little to no choice in residential and employment opportunities. The current options are scarce, require that the person have a Medicaid waiver, and are not appropriate for their individual needs. Vanguard Landing was created to provide another option for persons and their families to choose from.  One size does not fit all and everyone wants the chance to live a fulfilling life and some just need a little extra support to achieve this. Furthermore, the families of people with intellectual disabilities must cope with the fear and uncertainty of who will care for or provide support for their loved one after they are gone.

The founders of Vanguard Landing want to help  in meeting the needs of our fellow citizens with needs for support due to their intellectual and developmental disability.  Vanguard Landing is going to follow in the footsteps of all of the progressive intentional communities around the country in offering another choice for our fellow citizens.  Everyone has the right to choose from a variety of settings in which  to live and work and Vanguard Landing will be another option for families to choose.

We thank every single one of our supporters, volunteers, sponsors, and donors – large or small. Thank you to everyone who follows us on Facebook, subscribes to our newsletter, attends our events, and volunteers their time and energy toward this special cause. You are what we are thankful for, today and every day!

A BIG Surprise Outcome for our Mustang Raffle!

By | News, Newsletter, VGL Events

Last Saturday, we held our 3rd Annual Hearts & Hoofbeats fundraiser event, and came together as a community to show our support for the creation of our residential community for individuals with intellectual disabilities. There was much anticipation throughout the crowd for one particular event of the evening — the drawing to see who would win the 2017 Ford Mustang, courtesy of Beach Ford. Our winner was selected at random but they were not in attendance for the event to accept their official acknowledgment of their prize.

After a few days of communicating back and forth, we are incredibly excited to announce that the winner of the 2017 Ford Mustang, Spencer S. has donated the car back to Vanguard Landing to be sold! Spencer said that while they were excited to win the car, they really entered the raffle to support Vanguard Landing as a future residence for their nephew. Beach Ford has agreed to help with selling the car, so 100% of the proceeds from the raffle are now directly benefiting Vanguard Landing. The car is now available for sale through Beach Ford in Virginia Beach.

Thank you so much to all who were involved, to Spencer and Beach Ford and Tom Barton for making the raffle and our third Hearts & Hoofbeats fundraiser a huge success. We sold all but three of our 400 Mustang Raffle tickets, raising $36,000 in raffle ticket sales leading up to the event! The dream of providing a community for those with intellectual and development differences is another step closer to fruition! We couldn’t do it without you.


Tickets Are Selling Out for Our BIGGEST Event of the Year!

By | Newsletter

For the third year in a row, we are gearing up for our biggest annual fundraiser event! This year is extra special for MANY reasons, but most importantly, we are coming home this year, which will be hosted right here on the property of the future Vanguard Landing community. Equally exciting, American Idol winner Trent Harmon is our special guest, and attendees will get to enjoy an intimate concert from this amazing musician thanks to our supporters at 106.1 New Country! We will have more music from Little Country and Doug and Jimmy Ray Dunn, incredible food from Sweetwater Cuisine and Jody’s Delicious Popcorn, casino games by Astro Entertainment, and SO many other great activities. You’ll just have to join us to see for yourself!

Be sure to get your tickets to our 3rd Annual “Hearts & Hoofbeats” Fundraiser for Vanguard Landing!


By the time our Hearts & Hoofbeats evening draws to a close, one lucky winner will be the proud new owner of a Cherry Red, 2017 Ford Mustang from Beach Ford! We will be picking one winner at random from the only 400 raffle tickets sold in our Mustang Raffle. Tickets are available here, but they are moving quick, so don’t wait! As of now, only 200 tickets remain up for grabs. Don’t worry, if you can’t make it to Hearts & Hoofbeats this year, you can still enter to win this beautiful car.  We are so grateful for the continued dedication to our mission that Tom Barton III (President of Beach Ford) and Beach Ford have shown us.

Plain and simple, we would not be able to make Hearts & Hoofbeats possible without the continued support from local businesses, organizations, and families, just like we are not able to make the dream of Vanguard Landing a reality without this same community support. It is a true testament to the compassion that surrounds us and brings people together to accomplish great things for individuals who need more fair opportunities! If you’re interested in becoming a supporter of Vanguard Landing, contact Debbie atddear@vanguardlanding.org or visit our “How To Help”section on our website.

Debra Dear - Vanguard Landing

Be sure to check out our recent feature in The Pilot! by Sandra J. Pennecke. Show your support for Vanguard Landing by sharing the article with a friend who may not know that this community is being built right here in Virginia Beach.

“Everything is designed with them in mind,” Dear said.
“At the end of the day, a parent of an adult child who has a disability is no different from when they were little.
We want to be sure they are safe, fulfilled and happy.”


Two Special Events and One Red Hot Raffle!

By | News, Newsletter, VGL Events

Summer is in full swing and we are as busy as the bees buzzing around the Vanguard Landing property, planning our next few months of events and activities!

We have two VERY special events coming up on the horizon, plus one HUGE raffle offer, and we want to be sure everyone marks their calendars:


  • HEARTS & HOOFBEATSour 3rd Annual Fundraiser OCTOBER 22nd, 2016 from 6-10pm. We will be coming HOME to the farm for our most talked about and beloved fundraiser of the entire year!

There are so many exciting things planned for this year’s Hearts and Hoofbeats event, but the biggest announcement is that we are going to be holding a raffle for a 2017 Ford Mustang thanks to our friends at Beach Ford! Only 400 tickets will be sold, meaning you have an incredible chance to win this beautiful car! The winner will be drawn at the Hearts and Hoofbeats event, October 22nd.


Tickets are on sale now for Hearts & Hoofbeats as well as the Mustang Raffle. Don’t miss out on these great events! Ticket prices will increase as the event gets closer.


  • 1st Annual VANGUARD ASSEMBLY  on Thursday, August 11th from 4-6PM, will feature local representatives and candidates as well as food trucks and musical performances. This event is FREE and a rare opportunity to hear and be heard by your local politicians.