2023 Golf-A-Thon Recap

On Monday, May 1st, 13 local golf pros teed off at Indian River Club to participate in the 33rd Annual VNA & Hospice Foundation Golf-A-Thon. The first Golf-A-Thon was held in 1991 at Orchid Island Golf Club with just four golf pros participating. This inaugural event raised $21,000. Fast forward 33 years and we now have 13 pros participating and this year we raised over $500,000! Contributions made in support of the Golf-A-Thon benefit the VNA’s Charitable Care Program.

The Golf-A-Thon is such an amazing event. We have a committee of over 60 volunteers from 13 local golf clubs who help make this event happen. These volunteers give the VNA their time by attending monthly meetings and recruiting and coordinating other volunteers who help with the mailing and provide support the day of the event. This year, our Golf-A-Thon volunteers assembled over 10,000 pieces of mail!

This year’s event once again demonstrates what makes the residents of Indian River County amazing: generosity, compassion, and dedication. We have volunteers who have worked on this event for decades who believe in the VNA’s mission and want to continue to help us achieve our goals. We have individuals willing to donate their time and funds because they believe that everyone who needs home health and hospice services should be able to receive the quality care they desperately need and deserve. This year, we had over 1,600 people who were willing to donate to support this amazing cause and the 13 golf pros who helped us make this event a success.

Thank you to everyone who helped us make this year’s event not only a fun day but a record-breaking day as well.  Thank you to our 13 pros: Matthew Challenor (Windsor Club), David Champagne (Orchid Island Golf Club), Drew DiSesa (Riomar Country Club), Randy Hedgecock (Vero Beach Country Club), Steve Hudson (John’s Island Club), Ian Killen (Indian River Club), Don Meadows (Quail Valley Golf Club), Frank Mentzer (Oak Harbor Golf Club), Bela Nagy (Sandridge Golf Club), Troy Pare (Grand Harbor Golf Club), A.J. Petrulak (The Moorings Yacht & Country Club), Eddie Suchora (Bent Pine Golf Club), Ryan Zug (Pointe West Country Club). And thanks to Jason Berchtold from Bent Pine Golf Club for subbing in for Eddie Suchora for part of the day!

A very heartfelt thank you to Indian River Club for hosting the event this year. Head Golf Pro Ian Killen did an amazing job organizing the golf-related aspects of this event and the staff at Indian River Club were instrumental in making sure the event, including the post-event reception, ran smoothly. Our event co-chairs and Indian River Club members, Linda Braun and Deb Lockwood, were instrumental in making the event run smoothly and for that we are extremely grateful. And finally, thank you to all our committee members and the volunteers who helped with all aspects of this event. This event wouldn’t have been successful without your help. We also want to give a special thank you to Pat Gorman. Pat retired from Bent Pine Golf Club last year and he has also participated in the Golf-A-Thon since that inaugural event in 1991. We couldn’t have a Golf-A-Thon without him, and we were thrilled to have him MC the shootout contest at the end of the day.

As the 33rd Annual Golf-A-Thon ends, we are so grateful for all the support we have seen in this community over all these years. We are already looking forward to the 2024 event and can’t wait to start planning! Stay tuned for the announcement of which golf club will be hosting!








Using Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) to support the VNA & Hospice Foundation

Every day, people of all ages use services provided by the Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast (VNA). Last year, with philanthropic support they were able to provide $3,423,854 in support of our many programs and services including VNA Hospice and the VNA Mobile Health Clinic. How can you help?

Did you know that at the age of 70 ½ or older you can take advantage of what is known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) or IRA Charitable Rollover AND help the VNA to continue providing quality care in our communities?

While you can start taking distributions from your Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) as early as age 59 ½, by law you are required to do so beginning at age 73. Normally, these distributions are subject to income taxes. In 2015 Congress made permanent, the IRA Charitable Rollover provision which allows you to donate up to $100,000 ($200,000 per couple) per calendar year from your IRA directly to the VNA once you have reached 70 ½. Bonus, these QCDs, are not considered taxable income when made directly from your IRA to the VNA.

There are some rules to remember when considering a gift from your IRA.

  • You must be 70 ½ at the time of distribution for this to qualify as a tax-exempt gift.
  • You must make the gift directly to the VNA from the IRA account, if you transfer the funds to your personal account and then send it to the VNA this will be considered taxable income.
  • With the recent passing of the Legacy IRA Act, you may now take a one-time election for a qualified charitable distribution of up to $50,000 (without being taxed) from your IRA to fund a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA). Some limits apply, so contact Maurika Reed for more details at or 772-978-5574.

Potential Benefits

  • A QCD may reduce your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), which can impact Social Security and Medicare premiums.
  • A QCD may benefit you if you use the “standard deduction” because you do not itemize, and therefore, do not claim a charitable tax deduction when you give to charities.
  • A QCD may be beneficial if you do not need any or all of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).

How to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution: If making a Qualified Charitable Distribution is right for you, first contact your IRA administrator to initiate the request. VNA & Hospice Foundation is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization categorized as a supporting organization under section 509(a)(3) of the tax code. All QCD gifts must be made payable to the VNA of the Treasure Coast (59-2664912), a qualified charitable organization. QCD gifts should be mailed to:

VNA & Hospice Foundation
920 37th Place, Suite 101
Vero Beach, Florida 32960

If you have any questions on how you can help support the VNA, please contact Maurika Reed at 772-978-5574 or

Golf pro swinging golf club on lush green turf near lake at sunsetNews

Teeing Off for the 33rd Year to Support the VNA’s Charitable Care Program

For the past 32 years, the VNA & Hospice Foundation has organized our annual Golf-A-Thon, bringing together local golf clubs to help support the VNA’s Charitable Care Program. In 1991, four local golf pros participated in the inaugural VNA Golf-A-Thon at Orchid Island Golf Club. This unique event continued to grow and 32 years later, in 2022, 13 pros from our local clubs played at The Moorings Yacht & Country Club, helping us raise over $484,000! Funding from that year’s event allowed the VNA to provide over $533,000 in home health and hospice services for patients through our Charitable Care Program.

Our Golf-A-Thon is a unique event in Vero Beach. Golf club members donate in support of their golf pro’s participation in the event while supporting the VNA’s mission of providing the highest quality home health, hospice and community health services to those who cannot afford their care.

On Monday, May 1st, our 13 golf pros will be teeing off at 7 a.m. at Indian River Club in an attempt to play 135 holes of golf. The golf pros for our 33rd annual event are:

Matthew Challenor – Windsor Club

David Champagne – Orchid Island Golf Club

Drew DiSesa – Riomar Country Club

Randy Hedgecock – Vero Beach Country Club

Steve Hudson – John’s Island Club

Ian Killen – Indian River Club

Don Meadows – Quail Valley Golf Club

Frank Mentzer – Oak Harbor Golf Club

Bela Nagy – Sandridge Golf Club

Troy Pare – Grand Harbor Club

A.J. Petrulak – The Moorings Yacht & Country Club

Eddie Suchora – Bent Pine Golf Club

Ryan Zug – Pointe West Country Club

Along with our loyal golf pros, we have a dedicated group of Golf-A-Thon Committee members who work with us for five months out of the year to help plan this event. Each of the participating clubs has committee members who attend monthly meetings and serve as VNA ambassadors in their respective clubs. These volunteers give so much of their time to the VNA, this year stuffing more than 10,000 envelopes for our mailing, recruiting volunteers for the event day and promoting the event at their clubs to ensure a successful day.

Our loyal and generous donors to this event make a huge impact on the lives of those individuals in our community who need our care! If you’d like more information about this year’s Golf-A-Thon, including how you can support your golf pro, please visit:


close up of a computer keyboard with a red button and the word donate with a heart icon next to itNews

A tax savvy way to support the VNA & Hospice Foundation

Every day, people of all ages use the services provided by the VNA. When you give a gift to the VNA & Hospice Foundation, you are helping us provide compassionate, innovative care of the highest quality, setting the standard for patients and caregivers needing home health, hospice, and community health services. The VNA extends this care to the uninsured and underinsured in our community, ensuring healthcare equity for all.

A donation of appreciated stock may offer you significant tax benefits. Contributions of appreciated securities held for more than one year are generally tax-deductible at market value, regardless of what you paid for the securities. This may provide you with capital gains savings as well as a charitable income tax deduction. It is important to transfer the stock directly to the VNA & Hospice Foundation to take advantage of the tax incentives associated with making this type of gift.

Consider this strategy: Let’s say you were originally going to donate $10,000 from your personal account; instead, you choose to donate $10,000 in appreciated stock directly to the VNA & Hospice Foundation. Then you reinvest the $10,000 from your personal account back into your portfolio to maintain the same level of investment, but in doing so you were able to increase your stock basis, avoid capital gains tax AND support the VNA & Hospice Foundation for a win, win, win!

Donating appreciated stock is one of many options that can help reduce tax liabilities while supporting the wonderful programs the VNA has to offer; click here to learn more about these programs. We encourage you to talk with your financial/tax advisors to see what the best strategy for you would be.

Donating Appreciated Securities: Executing a gift of stock is simple. The transfer of securities from your brokerage account to the VNA & Hospice Foundation is accomplished via the Depository Trust Company (DTC).

For more information about transferring stock, including account information to initiate a transfer, please contact Maurika Reed, Charitable Gift Planner, at or at (772) 978-5574.

If you would like to electronically begin a stock transfer to the VNA without going through a broker, you can do so through our page. Click here to learn more.







Providing Veterans with the Care They Deserve

At the VNA, we recognize that our nation’s Veterans deserve our appreciation because of their selflessness. And as a nation, this is recognized by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) which in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched the We Honor Veterans Program. This program focuses on “respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgement.”The goal of this amazing program is to help Veterans peacefully move through their end-of-life journey by providing educational tools and resources to those providing hospice services to the brave men and women who have served our country.

The four goals of this program are to promote Veteran focused educational activities, increase an organization’s capacity to serve Veteran patients, support the development of strategic partnerships within the community, and to increase access to care for Veterans and improve the quality of that care. The We Honor Veterans Program aims to help hospice providers understand the unique needs of Veterans to ensure they receive the care they need and deserve.

The VNA is a proud Level 3 Partner in We Honor Veterans. To obtain that Level 3 status, the VNA provides Veteran-centric education to staff and volunteers, seeks to identify patients with military experience, continues to build organizational capacity to provide care for Veterans, and develops relationships with other Veteran organizations. Some of the ways that the VNA shows Veterans our appreciation, in conjunction with our staff and Volunteer Services Department, is:

      • Conduct a pinning ceremony to Veterans on hospice service, with a VNA volunteer or staff service member presenting the pin and a certificate to the patient.
      • Present a handmade red, white and blue blanket to Veterans on hospice service, made by VNA volunteers.
      • Provide Veterans staying in the Hospice House with a red, white and blue plaque noting their Veteran status on the door to their room.
      • Participate in community-wide events and initiatives supporting our Veterans.
      • Plan and execute Veterans Day ceremonies at assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities with pinning ceremonies, patriotic music and a celebratory reception.
      • Pair volunteers who served in the military with Veterans on hospice service with our Veterans-to-Veterans Program, providing assistance to help these patients stay in the comfort of their homes longer.

We strive to give our Veterans the best care because they sacrificed so much for us. The VNA is committed to ensuring our local Veterans have their unique needs met when we provide services to them. As we strive to become a Level 4 Partner in We Honor Veterans, the VNA hopes to expand our community collaborations with other Veteran organizations, creating a safety net of resources Veterans can rely on for access to the highest quality care.

To learn more about We Honor Veterans, visit:

If you would like to help support We Honor Veterans at the VNA, you can donate today to help purchase supplies for Veterans projects at:

For more information about the VNA’s We Honor Veterans Program, please contact us at (772) 567-5551.









Clinical worker standing outside front entrance to Hospice House with male patient in wheelchair and his spouse.Programs

Respite Care, Care for the Caregiver

For patients who receive in-home hospice care, it’s often family members who become the patients’ primary caregiver. The end-of-life journey can be physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting. Even though caregivers receive support from VNA Hospice clinicians, they can still easily become overwhelmed, making it difficult for them to not only care for their loved ones, but for themselves as well.

The VNA Hospice Respite Care Program can help those primary caregivers by having the hospice patient stay at the VNA Hospice House. The Medicare benefit allows for up to five days each month in respite care, covering transportation and a five day stay in the Hospice House. This break for the primary caregiver gives them the opportunity to recharge and rest, resulting in less caregiver burnout and more energy to devote to their loved ones.

It’s vitally important that caregivers understand they have resources like this to help them during such a difficult process. And they can rest easy because a respite stay at the Hospice House means that their loved ones will be well cared for 24/7 in a homelike environment. The spacious 12,000 square-foot building has 12 private patient rooms with attached baths, which are beautifully appointed to feel like a home and not a hospital room. The Hospice House also has state-of-the-art technology, an in-house chef, and other amenities that patients and families can enjoy in a cozy, inviting environment.

When a patient is on respite care in the VNA Hospice House, they are comfortably cared for by VNA staff while their primary caregiver can take the time they need to rest, travel, and get things done that they otherwise couldn’t when caring for the patient. Respite care is about providing round-the-clock care the patient needs, while the primary caregiver can take the time to care for themselves.

The Hospice House is a vital community resource completely funded by our donors. The VNA would not be able to provide respite care without your philanthropic support. If you would like more information on the VNA Hospice Respite Care Program or how you can support the VNA Hospice House, please visit or call (772) 567-5551.

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