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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.

As We Prepare To Break Ground

By | Newsletter

Vanguard Landing is continuing into 2018 with big goals regarding our Phase One Capital Campaign and our Guardian Angels program. As we prepare to break ground on the Vanguard Landing property, we want to let you know a few other key areas we are continually focusing on.

Adequately Educating the Public
We want to use our voice to educate the public as efficiently as possible. There is sometimes a misconception that we’re building an institution, and people are often confused as to how our vision impacts or is impacted by Medicaid and Medicaid Waivers. Often our critics are afraid to lose medical waiver clients, and we want to ensure our goals are clear.

Adequately Educating Parents
Finding the info you need to make the best decisions for your children can be difficult. Often information is hard to find on this often overlooked demographic, or what you do find can be incorrect. We want to provide education for parents on planning financially and legally in order to protect their adult children.

Fundraising Events
Our fundraisers are creative ways to bring in money, while also informing others about our mission. When you attend a Vanguard event, or share with others, you help get the word out! We hope these events stay with you, as you come in contact with adults who will benefit from Vanguard Landing and see the need firsthand.

If you would like more information on Vanguard, or on issues pertaining to the services we will provide, feel free to contact us today. We hope you’ll join us for one of our exciting fundraising events this year! If you don’t follow us on Facebook you can do that now, as it’s a great way to stay informed on our happenings!

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!



Help Us Reach Our Goals In 2018!

By | Newsletter

We believe in setting big goals around here, and we know that our supporters are the key to our success. Every time someone shares one of our posts, talks about our vision with a friend, or tags us online, they’re opening up our world just a little bit more. We don’t take this for granted, as we firmly believe that we are always just one step away from being connected to those with the resources to assist in reaching our goals quicker than we imagined!

Our Phase One Capital Campaign is a BIG, entirely possible, goal. We are in need of larger amounts in order to begin construction, and through a combination of substantial donations and bank financing, we hope to make that happen soon! We have lenders signed on, but our goal is to limit how much we borrow to get construction started. Every dollar we borrow today has the potential to limit our services in the future, so the capital campaign is crucial.

We are actively seeking large corporate and individual donors, and we need help spreading the word! We need your help identifying and connecting with influential people throughout the country. We know there are people out there who truly understand the need, and we can’t wait to meet them.

If that’s pretty daunting we understand! On a less daunting, but just as important level, we have the Guardian Angels program. Through this program you can commit to donate as little as $25 a month for a year, and make a difference in the lives of our future residents. Any amount helps!

To date, 124 other Intentional Communities have been created and built by donations, and we need help just like they did to get started! Will you commit to telling at least one person about our vision this month, and each month thereafter? Thank you in advance, and we can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!

A Home Of Their Own

By | Newsletter

Do you remember moving into your first apartment, and the excitement and the sense of accomplishment that came with it? You probably went to the thrift store and got the least expensive furniture and decorations you could, but you didn’t care because it was going into YOUR new home. How about buying your first house? Upgrading your furniture a bit, splurging for that fancy wall hanging. These moments are a rite of passage, moments that give us a sense of independence, something to take care of.

Do you have neighbors that are like family? The neighbors who stop in to check on you when things are crazy, or who you chat with in the evenings after a long day. There’s a sense of community that comes from living alongside others and understanding that you’re there for each other for the good days, and the challenging days.

The future residents of Vanguard Landing are individuals who want to experience those same feelings. People who love their families dearly, just like you and I, but who also want a place of their own among their peers. They’ll go to work each day, and make positive contributions to the world around them. They’ll make meals, and go out in the evenings with friends. They’ll decorate their spaces, and experience independence and community in a safe, secure environment.

Your support gets us closer to every day to our goal of creating a place where residents can experience community and independence without sacrificing feelings of comfort and safety. We hope you’ll consider Vanguard Landing as you consider your many year-end giving options. We know there are a lot of needs, and we appreciate every little bit!

Click here to make a one-time gift of recurring donation, or text to Vanguard Landing today!

Dreams For Our Children

By | Newsletter

If you’re a parent, you know what it’s like to want nothing but the best for your children, including a future where they are independent and thriving. The day they graduate college, find a job, and/or move out on their own is the day you can say “We did it! We got them to adulthood!” But for parents of intellectually disabled children this looks different. They too have dreams of independence for their children, coupled with the fear of what adulthood will look like, especially once they, the parents, are gone.

If you were to ask some of our future residents about their dreams for Vanguard Landing, you’d likely hear things like “to live with my friends” or “to have fun and go for walks on the trails.” If you ask their parents, the answers will be more along the lines of, “So my children have a safe and loving community where they’re understood and accepted for who they are.”

Individuals who want a fun and safe place to live will find that, and more at Vanguard. A place where they are seen, not stared at, where they are respected and given opportunities to contribute in a meaningful way to the world on a daily basis. We will provide peace of mind for parents who may not be able to provide the care their adult children need, especially once the child has aged out of the school system. Additionally, they will know their children will be cared for long after they themselves are gone.

We’re so encouraged every single time we see someone’s eyes light up because they “get” our vision. When others begin to understand how important our work is for future generations, we’re encouraged to fight harder!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support and patience on this journey. From the local businesses who raise funds for us, to the individual who stood up and donated $100,000 at our Hearts & Hoofbeats event. It’s incredibly important, and it all gets us closer to groundbreaking.

Hearts & Hoofbeats 2017

By | Newsletter

We had a great time at our Hearts & Hoofbeats event, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our Sponsors and supporters at every level! Despite the drizzling rain and humidity, we broke our attendance records and welcomed our wonderful guests to enjoy the event under a huge tent filled with food, fun and Vanguard Landing family!

This year our guests at the event and from afar were able to bid on the many wonderful Silent Auction items via their smartphones –  and it was very effective and exciting!  The items donated by our supporters included very elaborately-themed gift baskets, a Smart TV, Custom Artwork, Gym Memberships and many other popular things.  The highlight of the evening and the one that brought the bidding war to a frenzy was – drumroll please… a Wooden American Flag with bullet shells as the stars!

Attendees also gave to our Reverse Auction which is basically money donated THAT night for Phase One Construction – that ONE activity raised $118,000!

Everyone enjoyed the delicious food from the famous Jody’s Popcorn, cheese and fruit bars, and the three 757 local favorite food trucks: Gastrohub, Sofritos and Sicles & Sammies.

The number one East Coast dance band – Hotcakes – turned up the volume and the energy with an awesome playlist that all ages could move to!

The Vanguard Sound Waves Glee Club performed A Place For Us by Carrie Underwood and brought the house to their feet.  This song perfectly described the dream that each of these future residents are watching come alive with each passing day at and the planned groundbreaking ceremony only months away!

Every year we like to surprise our guests with games and activities that will not only challenge their skills but also reward them with prizes each and every time.  This year we rolled out three games – A Wine Pull, Head Or Tails, and Buy A Heart.  The participants won prizes, cash and two of the winners were gracious enough to donate their winnings back to the residents of Vanguard Landing!!

Finally, we nearly DOUBLED our attendance in one year for this event and as a result we also more than doubled our fundraising! We are so grateful! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for professional photos from this signature event.

A Day In The Life At Vanguard Landing

By | Newsletter

Kristin wakes up in her pink coastal cottage bedroom excited to see her friends and start a new day! She and her cottage mates get dressed and straighten their room like they want, and walk together over to the Seahorse Cafe for breakfast. If needed, someone is there to support them with any tasks they need help with. On the chef’s menu this morning are pancakes and fresh berries from Pungo, fresh juices, scrambled eggs and yogurt fruit parfaits. After breakfast, if it is a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, Kristin heads over to her job at the VGL Twice As Nice Shoppe and Creative Room.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays she catches the VGL van to the Oceana Commissary where she has a morning job at the bakery. She loves learning to decorate cakes and cupcakes. Kristin may choose to have lunch in the Seahorse Cafe with friends where they can talk about their morning. After a yummy lunch with healthy and delicious choices, she and two of her friends decide to go for a walk if the weather is nice before her keyboarding class in the computer lab.

After class, she may decide to go to the greenhouse and check on the tomato plants she started for the Farm Market. On this day, she decides to hang out for a while in her room before evening activities start up. This night happens to be Create Your Own Taco night (a favorite among residents). After dinner, Kristin joins a group watching a movie together, and they enjoy popcorn and a movie before heading back to their houses for bed.

We can’t wait to make a day like Kristin’s a reality for so many intellectually disabled adults. Organizations around the country have successfully implemented housing programs that enable individuals to live a quality life, and truly thrive. Your continued support helps us toward our goal of becoming one of those amazing places.

Our next event, Hearts & Hoofbeats will be held October 14, 2017. Don’t miss this opportunity to support Vanguard while enjoying a fun evening, and checking out the property! If you’d like to partner with us through sponsorship of this signature event, click here.

Save The Date for Hearts & Hoofbeats 2017!

By | hearts and hoofbeats

The planning has begun for our 4th Annual Hearts & Hoofbeats signature event! Hearts & Hoofbeats will be held at the Vanguard Landing property on October 14, 2017, and will include performances from the Hotcakes Band, as well as our Sound Waves Glee Club. We hope you’ll plan to join is for a night of yummy food, drinks, fun activities and auctions!

This is an amazing evening for supporters to come together, learn more about Vanguard landing, and celebrate the accomplishments of those with disabilities. It’s also a great opportunity to make this dream a reality as we continue taking steps toward breaking ground.

We’ll have a lot more information available in the next severals weeks. We can’t wait to begin showcasing our lovely auction items for you, as well as introducing you to the talent you’ll be able to witness during the event. Hearts & hoofbeats is one of our favorite events of the year because we get to have some fun for a great cause. Thank you so much for choosing to take this journey with us. We’re forever grateful, and look forward to celebrating with you in a few months!

If you or your company are interested in helping sponsor the event or donating auction items, contact us today. We’d love to have you partner with us for this amazing cause.

For now, mark your calendar for for Oct. 14, tell your friends, and plan on a great event for a wonderful cause!