Annual Tampa Bay CaresWalk To Build Home For Local Wounded Veteran

By Kathy Collins

Tampa Bay area Coldwell Banker locations are hosting the Fourth Annual Tampa Bay CaresWalk on Saturday, April 2. Monies raised from the fundraiser will be donated to the Gramatica Family Foundation to build a home for a local combat-wounded veteran.

On April 23, 2012 SSG Justin Lansford was on a mission in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was in was hit by an IED. SSG Lansford’s vehicle flipped from the explosion and he was trapped under it for nearly 30 minutes. His left leg was amputated as a result and he spent two years in physical therapy.

Now the community is giving back to this soldier who gave so much for his country. Gramatica Family Foundation is building him a new home in the Seminole Heights area which will be suited to his needs after the injuries he sustained in Afghanistan. Coldwell Banker CARES has chosen Gramatica as the recipient for its major fundraiser this year to ensure that this hero gets the home he deserves.

Sheila Dean, the Coldwell Banker CARES representative from the Brandon location, is honored to be part of this fundraising tradition. Last year the walk raised $40,000. Checks for $20,000 were given to the USO of Central Florida and Honor Flight of West Central Florida.

“It is rewarding to be able to help others that have helped our country and our community so much,” said Dean.

The average constructed home cost for veterans is $180,000 and they are built to suit each veteran’s individual needs. Gramatica builds these homes and presents them to the veteran mortgage free.

“This cause is near and dear to our hearts a realtors,” said Dean. “We’re building a home for somebody and as realtors, that’s what we’re all about. And to be able to do it for a veteran is beyond amazing.”

Tampa Bay CaresWalk is in need of sponsors, walk participants and donors. Visit www.events.org/tampabaycareswalk/ to register for the walk or for more information. The walk takes place at 9 a.m. at Eagle Lake Park located at 1800 Keene Rd. in Largo.