By Suzy WiesMyWarriorPlacelogoenhart

The Del Webb property of Southshore Falls held a fundraiser last month for My Warrior’s Place at its pool facility in Apollo Beach. The community rallied playing water balloon toss, corn hole, having raffles, selling lunch and a 50/50. It was a beautiful day for a fundraiser until the rains came, but that did not deter this 55+ community one bit. The residents were able, with the help of volleyball tournaments too, to raise $4,511. Resident and planner, Wayne Jenkins said, “I can’t believe this small group was able to raise so much.”

Founder Kelly Kowall was on hand to say how grateful she was and to tell the crowd a little about My Warrior’s Place. She said, “This renews my faith in mankind and helps me know that people realize what sacrifices are made.”

“Giving the Gift of Hope & Healing to those who give us the gift of Freedom,” is My Warrior’s Place motto. It is a retreat center for veterans, military service members and first responders; Gold Star, Blue Star and Silver Star families. It is the way Kowall chose to honor her son, Corey, killed in combat in Afghanistan. She knew there were others grieving as she was.

My Warrior’s Place, is located in Ruskin on the banks of the Little Manatee River. In May 2012, Kowell was able to put together a team of volunteers to transform the waterfront property into a place of healing and hope for the military and families who have lost a loved one. Buildings provide a safe haven for short-term use for veterans and families of wounded and fallen service members.

Project Corregidor offers grief education and peer mentoring training to support the healing process, in addition to a Grief and Coping Program and Grief and Peer Mentoring Program. The FAVE boating expeditions offer a variety of boating experiences and Code Fitness offers fitness programs and events supporting mind, body and spirit.

Kowall has teamed up with the Southshore Musical Festival for the Ride for the Fallen taking place on Saturday, November 14. Visit for more information or call Kowall at 321-0880.

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Suzy Wiesenhart
Suzy is one of the Advertising Representatives for the Riverview area. She started with the Osprey as an advertising assistant in 2008 and has various positions since then. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Riverview Chamber of Commerce. She has lived in Bloomingdale with her husband, Tom for the last 22 years.