Renewal Coalition 37th Retreat Day 1
Thanks to all the efforts of our amazing volunteers, Renewal Coalition’s 37th Retreat is off to a great start. This afternoon, we welcomed 2 couples from Missouri, a family of 4 from St Cloud, and a family of 4 from Boca Raton. We still have a family of 3 from California who is still traveling due to unfortunate flight delays, but we are expecting them around midnight and our dedicated staff member Emilio will be making the trip to pick them up.
We had a beautiful day on property and many of the guests took part in paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing. Once again, Al Demott and the Once a Month Charity brought tons of food and bounce houses for the kids, which have been a huge hit! The Fore family also donated a ton of fresh fruit and food as well as drinks, desserts, paper products and even toiletries to make our guests feel at home. Pat brought some more of her homemade goodies that we are all thoroughly enjoying and Kathy donated some fun-filled bags for each of the children. Thank you to all of our other volunteers who have been dropping off supplies throughout the week. We could not do what we do without the generosity of our amazing donors and volunteers.
Cathy Higgins and the ladies from J.L. Cares provided our guests with a delicious lasagna meal this evening, and we would like to give a special thanks to dd’s cupcake shoppe for the fantastic dessert. We also had special music on the porch that had everyone in good spirits. Thank you to Isolda and Janice Clark, Pat, Henry and friends, the Jackson family, and the other volunteers who came out tonight to make our guests feel welcomed. Everyone left the dinner table with a smile and a full belly, and the joy was already beginning to show on the face of our warriors who are settling in for a weekend of relaxation and bonding with each other and with their families.
Tomorrow, the Jupiter Eagles will be back in the kitchen preparing a deluxe breakfast. Our Veterans will be heading out on the Black Dog for some deep sea fishing and the wives and children will have a day on the property to relax, paddle board, kayak, and go for a boat ride. Thanks to each and every one of you for the contributions you make to our organization. Without the help of our volunteers and supporters it would be impossible to help our military families. Please let us know if you would like to help us in our mission.
Renewal Coalition 37th Retreat Day 2
We had a long and exciting day here at Renewal Coalition. The second day of our 37th retreat went even better than the first. The day started off with another delicious breakfast by the Eagles and then we sent the men off for deep sea fishing. Thanks to Bill Taylor and the Black Dog for another successful trip. They came back with good stories and several fish filets. Thank you to Chris O’Rourke and Steven for helping out. Meanwhile, on the property the wives and children had a blast. Thanks to the help of our awesome babysitters today, the moms had an afternoon filled with relaxation. We would like to give a huge thank you to Katy, Kayla, Laura, Lois, and Sheila for the hours and care that you gave to all of the precious children today. You were awesome!
Jona DeSimone was kind enough to lend her boat for some afternoon cruises and Richard Wennet filled in as an excellent Captain. He took two trips to take all of the wives and children out to tour the river and everyone had a great time. On the property, the women spent time tanning and fishing on the dock and one of them caught her first fish ever, a nice Snook! She released it, but we got some great photos. Sandra and Buzz came out to help prepare lunches for the guests this afternoon and after filling up, the kids spent more hours in the bounce houses, out on kayaks and paddle boards with the babysitters, and hopping around the property playing with all the toys.
Tonight, we had a delicious meal with turkey, pork, burgers, hotdogs, and some great sides provided by DSS and SPS. Bob Pedraza spent the entire afternoon cooking the meat for us and he did an excellent job. We also had tons of desserts to pull out thanks to our wonderful volunteers, and some awesome pies and icecream from the Fore family. Thank you to all of the volunteers who came out tonight to show your support. There were many hands that helped to prepare the wonderful food we ate and many others who spent time setting up, cleaning up, chasing children, and socializing with our guests. You are all a special part of our organization and we truly appreciate every one of you.
Tomorrow we have another full day planned with tons of excitement as we head out to Admiral’s Cove for an afternoon at the pool, playing, and lunch. Then we will head to Jona’s for more pool time and another fantastic meal.
If you would like to contribute to one of our future retreats by hosting a meal, volunteering, or donating supplies in advance, please contact me by phone (252-432-3380) or e-mail (Katie@renewalcoalition.org). We couldn’t do what we do without the generosity of our amazing contributors, and I just can’t thank you all enough.
Renewal Coalition 37th Retreat Day 3
We had another busy and amazing day today during the 37th Renewal Coalition retreat. Our morning started off with an excellent breakfast prepared by Kathy Lowman and friends. We had a variety of bagels, breakfast casseroles, fresh fruit, pastries, and more! A few guests spent time out on the kayaks and paddle boards early as others spent time socializing on the porch and relaxing for the morning.
Next we headed out to Admiral’s Cove for an absolutely fantastic afternoon. We would like to extend a huge thank you to our incredible hosts, Marcia and Bob who helped to coordinate this extravagant day for our guests and also spent the afternoon with all of us. The staff at Admiral’s Cove was tremendous and they had everything planned out perfectly. From the moment we arrived at the front gate, our Veterans and their families felt special as they saw signs welcoming the military wounded warriors. We arrived at the clubhouse and were shuttled to valet parking and then had a section of seats reserved just for our group on the pool deck. Staff members at the clubhouse took care of the children for the afternoon so that the adults could relax and enjoy a nice lunch together followed by time in the pool. The entire experience was delightful.
This evening we headed over to another beautiful dinner at Jona DeSimone’s where she made everyone feel at home. She served a delicious Italian meal followed by ice cream sundaes and the guests spent hours playing in the pool and hot tub. Lois and Sheila were back again to babysit the kiddos and they were amazing as always. Thank you to all of the volunteers at Jona’s for helping with the setup and cleanup.
I think it is safe to say that everyone has been making the most of their time in Florida so far for this retreat. The Veterans are bonding over discussions and the wives are finding new friends in each other. The children are having a blast and have all gotten along great. Thank you to all of you who make it possible for the veterans and their families to have this opportunity! Everyone is resting now and excited for another full day of activities tomorrow.
Renewal Coalition 37th Retreat Day 4
Today was another great day at Renewal Coalition. The day started off with another fantastic breakfast by the Eagles and Jim Kamen who came to cook his delicious omelets. Then, the ladies headed off to DK Salon for an afternoon of hair styling and facials by the excellent staff who came in on their day off to make these wives feel special and beautiful. Meanwhile, the Veterans and children went to Lighthouse Cove Adventure Golf for lunch and mini golf followed by icecream. Thank you to Timothy and staff for making the guests feel welcomed. Everyone had a great time!
After being pampered at DK Salon, the women headed over to Allure Nail & Spa to get manicures and pedicures while the men and children spent the afternoon kayaking and paddle boarding on the river. After a day of entertainment, the guests regrouped and headed out to a nice date night group dinner at U Tiki thanks to the generous donation of Isolda Clark. The guests had a wonderful time relaxing at U Tiki and enjoyed a wonderful meal while the kids stayed on property with more awesome babysitters, Kayla and her Mom. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this day possible for our guests. Your dedication to supporting our service members and their families is making a difference and we appreciate each of you for the impact you have made on their lives. Tomorrow the guests will be flying and driving back to their homes, but they will leave with great memories of their time this weekend during the 37th Renewal Coalition retreat.
Renewal Coalition 37th Retreat Final Note
I just wanted to send a final note to wrap up our 37th Retreat. Our guests have all returned home and now know that in Jupiter, Florida, there is an organization filled with people who love and support them. Our final day together ended with laughter and hugs and promises from the guests to keep in touch with one another. They not only had time to bond with their families, but also with each other, and they have found new friends in other families who can understand and have experienced similar trials.
I have received kind notes and phone calls from so many of you this week and I want you to know how much I appreciate you all. As I have mentioned in some of my replies, it is truly my honor to have the opportunity to serve our nation’s heroes. As the wife of a combat wounded Marine, there is nothing that could bring me greater happiness than being able to pay it forward and see the light on our guests faces when they come to Renewal Coalition and experience the joy of spending time together in the relaxing environment that all of you help to provide for them. Steven and I know first hand how amazing this retreat can be and the transformation that it can have on the lives of our guests, and that is why we love it so much.
When we tell you that we could not do what we do without each of you, we truly mean that. Renewal Coalition is made up of our many donors and volunteers who work so hard to make sure that the wounded veterans and families who come to retreats are not just happy, but joyful and rejuvenated and most of all, supported and hopeful for a bright future. Thank you all for your participation in making our 37th retreat another fantastic one!
Our next retreat will be May 15th-19th, and we will keep you posted with updates and needs as it gets closer. Please mark your calendars and contact us if you are interested in being involved or offering your support in any way.