2023 Golf-A-thon- prosGiving

The Countdown is On for the 34th Annual Golf-A-Thon

We are a little over two months away from the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) & Hospice Foundation’s 34th annual Golf-A-Thon. This unique event showcases 13 local golf pros who tee off at 7 a.m. in an attempt to play 135 holes of golf in one day, with all donations benefiting the VNA’s Charitable Care Program. On Monday, May 6th, 13 golf pros and countless volunteers will meet at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club for a day of fun, golf and generosity.

The VNA first held the Golf-A-Thon in 1990 with 4 pros playing a total of 103 holes of golf and raising $21,000 for the VNA’s Charitable Care Program. 33 years later, we have 13 pros committing their time and talents to help raise critical funding for the VNA’s mission in the community, raising over $510,000 in 2023 to help those who are under and uninsured get the home health and hospice care they need and deserve. This event is the amazing success that it is because of all of those involved:

The local golf clubs who support us.
The 13 golf pros who take time out of their hectic schedules to play a very long day of golf.
The Golf-A-Thon volunteer committee members who help plan this event from January through May.
Countless volunteers who come out the day of the event to help ensure a smooth and enjoyable day of golf for the pros.
Our incredible sponsors who underwrite this event which maximizes the amount of funding that goes to the VNA’s Charitable Care Program.

The hundreds of generous donors who give to support the VNA’s mission and support their favorite golf pro.

The VNA’s Golf-A-Thon is unique among the many golf fundraisers held in our community. It’s an event where only the golf pros are on the course, attempting to play 135 holes of golf in a single day. It’s an idea that longtime former VNA Board and Committee Member, Ba Stone, brought back to the VNA from her hometown in Connecticut 34 years ago. It’s amazing to see the growth of this event over its tenure here in Indian River County, and back in 2005, Ba surmised that the continued enthusiasm and devotion of our supporters were to thank for that growth. The VNA is lucky to have a community passionate about the VNA and the Golf-A-Thon!

During the past few weeks, the Golf-A-Thon Committee and volunteers from each of the 13 clubs participating in the Golf-A-Thon spent time assembling over 10,000 pieces of mail that will be mailed today. Residents of the participating golf communities should see your club’s brochure in your mailbox soon! If you’d like more information about the Golf-A-Thon and how you can support the VNA and your favorite golf professional, go to vnatc.org/golf-a-thon/.

The countdown is on for the 34th annual Golf-A-Thon! May 6th will be here before you know it, and we hope that you are as excited as we are for this amazing fundraiser that provides critical funding to ensure the under and uninsured residents of Indian River County get the home health and hospice care they need and deserve.


community members signing papers to leave legacy giftGiving

VNA & Hospice Foundation’s Nightingales: Ensuring the Future of Our Agency

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) & Hospice Foundation is fortunate to have a group of supporters committed to ensuring the longevity of our agency. Created in 1995, the Nightingale Legacy Society is comprised of over 300 members who designated the VNA in their estate plans. A few ways this can be done are: leaving a percentage of their total estate to the VNA, opening a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA), designating the VNA as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or IRA or creating a blended gift. However, becoming a Nightingale is not just about making a gift to the VNA, it is a way to strengthen the foundation for the VNA’s work in our community.

The VNA & Hospice Foundation was established to raise the funding needed for the programs and services offered by the VNA of the Treasure Coast. This includes funding the VNA Hospice House, Bereavement Program, Charitable Care Program and so much more. All our donors help the VNA achieve our mission of providing the highest quality home health, hospice, and community health services to residents of Indian River County, ensuring our patients and their families experience optimal quality of life and extending that care to the under and uninsured in our community. And while our loyal donors help us achieve this mission today, our legacy donors help us achieve our mission in the years ahead.

As we think about our own estate plans, the question that often comes to mind is: how will I be remembered? Leaving a portion of your estate to a non-profit organization is a way to show your family and loved ones the values and causes you supported during your life. It creates a legacy that forever links your name with the organizations you have championed during your lifetime. The VNA’s Nightingales want to know that the VNA will continue to offer high-quality services in the future for our community, helping their friends and family members who might need us. Our Nightingale’s value the VNA and in turn we created this society to show them how much we value their commitment to us.

In return for including us in their estate plans, the VNA seeks to honor each of our Nightingales. Their commitment to our patients is celebrated each year with a luncheon to thank them for their legacy gift and update them on what is happening at the VNA. On February 6th, 2024, we held the 22nd annual Nightingale Legacy Society Luncheon, recognizing the importance of this esteemed group and thanking them for their commitment to the VNA’s mission through their legacy gifts. The funding that will come to the VNA from these individuals will ensure that our mission lives on in the community not just today or tomorrow, but in the future.

If you are interested in learning about how you can leave a legacy gift to the VNA and become a member of the Nightingale Legacy Society, click here.


Collage of images including the MCDonald Family and images of Hospice House grounds.Giving

Impacting a VNA Hospice House Patient and Their Family Through Your Donations

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) & Hospice Foundation kicked off our 2024 Annual Fund campaign in November 2023, requesting our donors to support the VNA’s mission of providing the highest quality home health, hospice, and community health services to residents of Indian River County. As a non-profit organization, we extend home health and hospice care to the under and uninsured residents of our community, seeking to ensure everyone has access to the care they need and deserve. This would not be possible without the generosity of our donors. Your support allows the VNA to provide care to vulnerable populations through your donations to our Annual Fund.

The VNA Hospice House is one of the many programs supported through donations to the Annual Fund. This vital asset to our community needed over $1.4 million of philanthropic support in fiscal year 2023 to provide care for hospice patients who could no longer receive their hospice care at home in their final days. Built in 2000 and fully renovated in 2021, the 12-bed facility was designed to feel like a home and not a cold, sterile medical facility. The VNA Hospice House was created to be a place where patients and their families could experience dignity and compassion in those final days, with a caring staff dedicated to ensuring comfort during a difficult time and an environment that promotes tranquility and a sense of peace.

We had the opportunity to speak with the McDonald Family, who graciously agreed to provide a testimonial for our Annual Fund this year. Lara McDonald, a 34-year-old stylist for Anthropologie, passed away at the VNA Hospice House in April 2023 from colon cancer. Lara’s mother Jill, a Vero Beach resident since 2004, didn’t realize that this incredible facility was tucked away next to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital on 37th Street. “I walked in the door, and I remember just standing there and going ‘oh my gosh’…I didn’t even know this was back here,” Jill said.

From being able to bring Lara’s dog in to visit her, to rolling Lara’s bed out onto the porch to view the tranquil gardens, Lara’s sister Alix noted: “Anything just to make her [feel] comforted in that moment, you all tried your hardest.” Caitlin, Lara’s other sister, reminisced about the impact on their family during Lara’s stay: “The care you provided for my sister was incredible, but it was almost that it was more so for us and that was so amazing. I think that anyone would be so lucky to spend their final moments here.”

Navigating through the hospice experience can be an emotional and difficult journey for patients and their families, especially during a patient’s last few days with us. The VNA Hospice House is a place where families like the McDonald’s can feel secure knowing their loved one is receiving the highest quality of care while also receiving the support they need as well. The VNA Hospice House, along with the staff and volunteers who work there, creates a sanctuary for our patients and their loved ones. This community treasure would not have been possible without our donors who helped us create this sanctuary and who keep it available for residents in our community. Your donations to the VNA & Hospice Foundation allowed the VNA to give Lara McDonald the compassionate care she needed and the whole McDonald Family the support and comfort they needed as they said goodbye to their beloved Lara.

If you would like to help support the VNA’s programs and services, including the VNA Hospice House, please consider donating to our 2024 Annual Fund by clicking here.

To read more about Lara McDonald and the care she received at the VNA Hospice House, click here

Image of VNA Hospice House with the words your fiscal year impact.Giving

VNA Donors’ Impact During Fiscal Year 2023

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) was founded 48 years ago, seeking to fill the need to deliver quality at-home nursing care to those discharged from the hospital. Today, the VNA is an organization of over 500 associates dedicated to our mission of providing our patients with the highest quality care regardless of their ability to pay. And it’s only through the generosity of our donors that we can provide the breadth of programs and services to our community.

During our 2023 fiscal year (October 2022 through September 2023), we were able to use donor funds for the following:

  • $1,477,705 funded the day-to-day operations of the VNA Hospice House, keeping this vital community resource operating 365 days a year, giving patients a place to receive care when they can no longer be cared for at home.
  • $693,047 in program support funded the VNA’s Charitable Care Program, allowing the VNA to serve home health and hospice patients who are under or uninsured.
  • $34,644 funded our Community Health and Wellness Clinics in the community, where nurses perform blood pressure and glucose checks on residents.
  • $21,466 funded the VNA’s Telehealth Program, allowing patients with chronic illnesses to remain at home and make less trips to the emergency room.
  • $3,942 in donor support funded our hospice patients’ end-of-life wishes through Project Wish.

The VNA’s mission is rooted in the quality of life for our patients and their families. Everything we do is centered on ensuring optimal quality of life at all times. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the enduring commitment of this community to our mission, the VNA can help our patients and their families achieve that. Your donations help fund our programs, bringing the highest quality home health and hospice care given by compassionate clinicians. The numbers above are only part of the story of your impact. Thousands of lives in this community are touched every year by the VNA and countless uplifting stories are told about the incredible care VNA clinicians give to our patients.

The VNA’s donors show us every year how much they value quality home health and hospice care and the desire to ensure everyone in need has access to it. 2023 was no exception to this. We humbly thank our donors for their unwavering support and for allowing your contributions to go toward providing care in our community.

Leaving a legacy title with image of a gold pen on document labeled last will and testament.Giving

Leaving a Legacy – Using Bequests to Memorialize Your Values

During the holidays, we often reflect on our year. It becomes a time when we make resolutions to change behaviors, make lists of places we want to go, and take stock in our lives. It’s a time to reflect on the values important to you as reflected in your actions. Your personal legacy is not only what you valued and accomplished during your lifetime, but also how you memorialize your values for future generations. Estate planning is one way that you can define your legacy.

When someone hears the term “estate planning,” the first thing that comes to mind is a will. While a will is a large part of it, estate planning is the process of caring for yourself and your assets while you are living while planning for the orderly transfer of assets to other persons or organizations, both during your lifetime and afterwards. Estate planning doesn’t just ensure who receives your assets, it also includes creating directives in case you can no longer make decisions for yourself, appointing a guardian for any minors, minimizing possible estate taxes and probate fees, providing for any special needs your loved ones might have and so much more. Estate planning can be an emotional process as you decide how best to provide for yourself and your loved ones. However, once your estate plans are in place, you will have peace of mind that your wishes will be followed without burdening your loved ones with those decisions.

Throughout your life, you demonstrate your personal values through the organizations you decide to support, whether that’s through financial contributions or donations of your time volunteering. By remembering the non-profit organizations that you support in your estate plans through a bequest in your will, you are making an enduring investment in that organization’s mission. If you are a supporter of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), naming the VNA & Hospice Foundation in your estate plans will provide a lasting gift that will positively impact people in need in our community.

As we come to the end of another year, we invite you to reflect not only on this past year but on your life and all you have accomplished. Think of those you love, the causes you support, and what you want the future to look like. As you think about those people and causes you hold dear, be sure you have the estate plans in place that will ensure your legacy provides for them.

If you would like to support the VNA & Hospice Foundation through a legacy gift, go to https://plannedgiving.vnatc.org/resources/bequest-language for examples of how to include us in your estate documents.

For general information about estate planning, go to https://plannedgiving.vnatc.org/plan-your-legacy/estate-planning-overview. And don’t forget to download our Estate Planning Guide!


Year-End Giving Options That Can Benefit Donors and Non-Profits

As we approach the end of the year, there is an underlying theme of giving back that is woven in the messaging all around us. As a non-profit organization, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) & Hospice Foundation relies on the generosity of our donors and their desire to give back all year long. Their motivation to help those in need is what allows the VNA to provide home health, hospice and community health services to everyone, even the under and uninsured in our community.

We are so thankful for the philanthropic spirit of this community and wanted to be sure to share how donations to non-profits can be beneficial to donors from a tax perspective. We like a win-win situation where a donor can support the VNA and possibly save on their year-end taxes! Donations received by the VNA & Hospice Foundation by December 31st can be listed as a charitable deduction on your taxes for that year, which might provide some tax savings depending on your specific situation.

Another way that you might be able to realize some tax savings is by donating appreciated stock. When you donate shares of stock that have appreciated in value to the VNA, you can avoid the tax on the financial gain while also claiming 100% of the value of the contribution as a charitable deduction. Transferring stock could earn you two to three times the tax savings versus donating cash. The VNA & Hospice Foundation has partnered with donatestock.com to make donating stock fast, safe, and easy! In 10 minutes or less, you can enter the information needed to transfer the shares of your appreciated stock to the VNA from your brokage account. If you prefer to go through your own broker, please call our office at 772.978-5581 and we will give you the necessary information.

Another possible tax-savvy strategy for year-end giving is taking a Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD) from your IRA. Sometimes called an “IRA Charitable Rollover,” this strategy allows you to make a tax-free gift while satisfying your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). If you are 70 ½ years or older you can transfer up to $100,000 per year from your IRA directly to the VNA & Hospice Foundation. If you do not have an RMD yet, a QCD gift offers all the benefits of an itemized income tax charitable deduction, even if you don’t itemize. For those 73 or older who must take a Required Minimum Distribution, a QCD gift satisfies that requirement without increasing your income and your tax liability. A call to your IRA administrator to request a Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA to the VNA & Hospice Foundation is all it takes to get this process started!

At the VNA & Hospice Foundation, we are constantly amazed at the support we receive from our donors. If there are tax advantageous strategies that will be beneficial when someone gives us financial support, we want to be sure they are known because we like win-win situations. So as the world focuses on giving back this holiday season, we wanted to equip you with information that might help you when you support a non-profit before the end of this tax year.

For more information about donating stock to the VNA, go to vnatc.org/waystogive/stock-donations/.

For more information about donating to the VNA with a Qualified Charitable Deduction through an IRA, go to: plannedgiving.vnatc.org/IRA.

Please note: Not everyone has the same financial situation, and these strategies will work for some individuals and not others. We encourage you to speak to your financial advisor when thinking about your year-end giving to discuss some of the abovementioned options. They will advise which strategy is best for your individual situation.


Entrance to VNA Hospice House, as nurse speaks with patient and spouse on the terrace.Giving

VNA Hospice House Endowment – An Enduring Gift

We shared Bill and Kate Freeman’s story in our blog post from August 15th (you can read it here), and in that article we shared their feelings about the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Hospice House. “All your donors gave us a gift,” Kate noted of being able to say goodbye to their son Jack at the VNA Hospice House. For the Freeman’s and many other families who have experienced the VNA Hospice House, this 12-bed facility is so much more than a healthcare facility. It’s a place where loved ones receive the 24/7 care they need at their end-of-life journey; it is a place of comfort, peace and dignity.

The VNA Hospice House is an incredible asset to this community. When a patient has a life-limiting illness and can no longer receive the care they need at home, the VNA Hospice House provides the setting to help them through their end-of-life journey, surrounded by skilled clinicians providing the highest quality care. It is not required for a hospice provider to have a hospice house for their patients, but the VNA and local philanthropists saw the need to have one in Indian River County. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the VNA Hospice House opened its doors in 2000 and has been serving hospice patients in this community for 23 years.

In 2003, through a generous $1 million gift from the L.W. Pierce Family Foundation, the VNA Hospice House Endowment Fund was created. Their transformational gift started this investment that helps pay for the day-to-day expenses of the VNA Hospice House. Each year, the VNA can take a fixed percentage of the earnings of the Endowment Fund to pay for things like electricity, oxygen, water, supplies, and other expenses that are necessary for daily operations. Gifts to the VNA Hospice House Endowment Fund are held in perpetuity, giving us a way to protect the future of the VNA Hospice House, ensuring that it will always be available to those who need hospice care when they can no longer receive it at home.

The VNA is incredibly thankful for all donors who have graciously given to the VNA Hospice House Endowment Fund over the last 20 years. You have provided an enduring gift, demonstrating your commitment to the VNA’s mission. You have contributed to a legacy that will ensure the VNA Hospice House remains available to those who need it, today, tomorrow and in the future.

For more information on the VNA Hospice House and the Endowment Fund, go to: https://vnatc.org/programs/hospice-house/.