Letter: Community effort applauded
Two years ago I was introduced to SIDNE (Simulated Impaired DriviNg Experience) and knew it would be a wonderful experience for Gloucester students, but knew I would not be able to ask the county for the funds as budget issues were growing.
I met Lisa Britto and we discussed SIDNE at length. Lisa never forgot about that conversation. Within months of our meeting she came up with a grant idea. I began my research and when the grant application announcement came out I asked the Sheriff’s Office for permission to apply. After much discussion I was given the green light to move forward. John Hutchinson, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, was supportive of the idea and eager to include SIDNE; however the grant guidelines did not allow for the purchase of SIDNE.
A few months later Lisa called with a fundraising idea. Lisa contacted Sheriff Gentry and within a month we had the event lined up. Each of us contacted avid community supporters about SIDNE and the response was immediate.
The Sunday before the event I became nervous as the reservations were low. I feared this was a fool’s errand but I should not have doubted the support for a program so desperately needed. With such amazing people taking the reins we were destined for success.
Were it not for the hard work and passion of Keith Hodges of Gloucester Pharmacy, John Baxter of Baxter Insurance, Brian Decker of Dusewicz & Soberick PC, Brian Richards of Walmart, Karen Mortensen of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Victim Witness Program, Father Jim Cowles of St. Therese, John Hutchinson, Assistant Superintendent of Gloucester County Schools; Jenny Crittenden of Main Street Preservation Trust, Elizabeth McCormick of Phillips Oil, Sheriff Steve Gentry, Maj. Darryl Warren and Capt. Ryan Cookson of the Gloucester Sheriff’s Office, Hunter Calloway of the Gloucester Volunteer Fire Department, Dr. Tom Young, John Phillips of Phillips Oil, Linda Grow of EVB Bank, Cheryl Dame of Colonial Virginia Bank, and Lisa Britto of Rosemary and Wine, we would not have realized this amazing dream.
The staff of Rosemary and Wine—Lisa Britto, Mary Amos, Art Britto, Nancee and Frank Mann, Debbie Ellinger, Annecia Lockwood, John Boyd, Dakota Dolan, James Leonard, Robert Hornsby and Carmen Metzger - made sure the food was superb and the volunteers had the support they needed.
A special thanks to James City Police Department for loaning their SIDNE.
These are my heroes. We could not have been successful without all of these amazing people.
From the young man who donated five of his own hard-earned dollars to the generous private donor who wrote a check for $5,000, the response was amazing. I want to thank all who contributed in such difficult economic times, and though I cannot recognize each individual I would like to mention the corporate donors: Abstract Art Tattooing, Colonial Virginia Bank, EVB Bank, Kenwood Builders, Dame Construction, Miller Septic, Morris Optical, Medhus Construction, and Rosemary and Wine. Thank you. We raised $14,000 toward the purchase of the SIDNE and will hopefully be welcoming SIDNE to Gloucester High School for the coming school year.
Deputy Kimberly Taylor
Gloucester Sheriff’s Office