Why We Do, What We Do
Songwriters 4 Vets was created in order to celebrate Veterans with a fun and entertaining concert, all while donating 100% of the proceeds to the Kevin Popke Foundation. In efforts to support local Vets in the SWFL area, the proceeds given to the Kevin Popke Foundation will benefit two amazing veterans-based charities: the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch and Other Side of the Dunes.
Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch
While serving in Iraq, Marine Lance CPL, Mike Delancey was critically injured in a sniper attack during military combat. Though his ability to walk was altered, this did no stop him from aspiring to better the lives of local wounded Veterans like himself. The Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch was founded in 2013 by Mike Delancey to inspire himself and other veterans of all conflicts to get out and be active.
The 10-acre plot in Pinellas Park, Florida is home to the WWAR and encompasses many different activities ranging from fishing and hunting, to wheelchair sports, and even sailing! Through these activities, wounded veterans will have access to a supportive and healing a environment which instills a new sense of hope, resilience, and strength as they move forward in their journey.
Since 2013, The Ranch has raised over $370,000 dollars in efforts to expand in order to serve wounded veterans. In addition to their astonishing fundraising, The WWAR has held over 37 events and helped on the upwards of 2,000 local vets. Mayor of Pinellas Park, Sandra Bradbury supports the work of The Ranch in saying “These veterans have sacrificed to keep us free and it is only right that we show our gratitude to them for those sacrifices and help them get the care and benefits they deserve.”
The Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch is constantly looking for ways to better the experience that its Veterans receive. By purchasing tickets to Songwriters 4 Vets you will be contributing to a legacy that will change the lives of many South Florida Veterans!
“It makes me happy when I see the support of the general public because it shows me the population really, truly does love our veterans” - Marine Lance CPL, Mike Delancey
The Other Side of the Dunes
Founded by Eric Wooten, The Other Side of the Dunes is a charity that services the disabled veteran community. Through the construction of customized wheelchairs, OSOTD is gifting access to the beautiful beaches that our state has to offer.
Through social media, Eric was able to reconnect with a friend from bootcamp, Chance Blaken who was building wheelchairs as a side job. Partnering with Chance, the founder of Beach ‘N Buggys, the Other Side of the Dunes has been able to gift veterans in need with an all terrain wheelchair that allows them to take advantage of what most people take for granted. Chance reconstructs an average motorized wheelchair into a beacon of hope for disabled veterans.
While hosting an event to raise money for another chair giveaway, a previous recipient Alan Earl, spoke on behalf of the charity and inspired its namesake. Earl said that his view from his apartment in WIlmington Beach, North Carolina only allowed him to see the beach from this side of the dunes, but the charity allowed him to see the beach from the other side of the dunes. Just like that, the name was born: The Other Side of the Dunes.
The OSOTD is committed to giving back to those Veterans who paid such a high price for our freedom by giving every hero back some of freedom of their own. Through bake sales, chili cook-offs, charity golf tournaments and other events, they have been able to gift veterans who have risked their lives with a portion of what they have lost. Through your purchase of tickets to Songwriters for Vets, you are giving the back to a Veteran in need!
“Living at the beach and being able to enjoy it independently has changed my life. I am no longer confined to the pavement and I have been able to experience a whole new world . . .on the Other Side of the Dunes.”
– Alan Earl