BELLEAIR – The Belleair Rotary Club recently presented donations to representatives of UPARC, the Salvation Army and the Abilities Foundation.
The money came from the Rotary’s 2013 Wine and Tapas Extravaganza fundraiser.
Mike Dunlap is a former Marine who serves as Abilities’ veterans job replacement specialist. He told club members about the foundation’s efforts to assist unemployed military veterans who may have barriers to employment, such as lack of transportation or place of residence, as well as lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and/or concussion.
Karen Crown presented a $500 check to support Abilities, which helps improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Crown also presented Capt. Zack Bell with a check for $1,000 to support the Salvation Army, which provides hope for those suffering because of a natural disaster, homelessness or hunger. He gave an overview of the many services the organization provides, including assistance with shelter, payment of utility bills, hot meals, groceries, employment training, community care and youth programs.
Linda Hamilton, executive director of the UPARC Foundation, spoke of the agency’s history and its services for developmentally challenged persons ages 9 to 90. Those include group homes and programs such as life skills classes, and employment onsite and in the community.
She described a genetic condition called Prader-Willi syndrome and noted that UPARC provides services for several persons with this chromosomal abnormality.
Julie Featherstone presented Hamilton with a $1,000 check.