Students and staff from Lighthouse’s School-Age program recently visited the, My Angel With Paws organization located in Deland. The group is a 100% volunteer based nonprofit committed to expanding public understanding and knowledge of the needs of children and adults with disabilities through the rescuing, breeding, training, placement and continuing education of service dogs and animal assisted therapy dogs in the state of Florida.
Starting June 13th, the transition students attended 80 hours of direct service time to develop pertinent skills needed to accomplish their summer work experiences. Lessons included mock interviews, a “what not to wear to work” fashion show, shopping for work place clothing, collecting job applications, calling community businesses, and honing their assistive technology skills
A group of around 40 young people, parents and Lighthouse staff recently participated in a unique, daylong outing at Discovery Cove® in Orlando, FL—an all-inclusive day resort where guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, rays and tropical fish, and hand-feed exotic birds.
Richard Wertsching, a 57 year-old Connecticut native who goes by, ‘Rick’, is a volunteer leader who sits on the board at Lighthouse Works. Wertsching has contributed not just his time to the Lighthouse mission, but also his talent and treasure. He is currently the Vice President of Strategic Sourcing for the Theme Parks and Resorts segment of the Disney Company and has called Florida home for the past 10 years.
Friends, this issue of our newsletter holds particular significance to me because our lead article features the late Donna J. Esbensen, former vice president and CFO at Lighthouse Central Florida and a woman I considered a very close friend.
On January 24, 2016, our beloved community stalwart and Lighthouse family member, Donna J. Esbensen, departed this world after her battle with cancer. Donna was devoted to the mission of Lighthouse Central Florida and served as the organization’s vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) for over 17 years.