By Sandy Mott
The history of The Villages Homeowners Advocates should begin with why and how our organization came into being.
First the why. In the summer and fall of 1990, the expansion of The Villages west of Highway 27/441 was bringing hundreds of new residents to our community every month. These new Villagers, along with those already living here, saw a need for a homeowners organization that would represent all the homes in The Villages.
That brings us to the how the VHA began. Such an undertaking would require leadership. A conversation among a group of friends on a bowling team provided the answer. One of that group was Yvonne Knudson, who was well known in the area and was active in Lady Lake government.
This was a case of the right person being in the right place at the right time. After much discussion, Yvonne agreed to an exploratory meeting to test the interest of residents in forming a new homeowners association to serve all the current and future residents of The Villages.
In early December 1990, Yvonne invited her bowling team friends and several other interested residents to a meeting at her house. Present at that meeting were Sue and Jim Hartman, Jean and Jim Underwood, Frank and Marie O’Brien, Clara and Mat Streicher and Bill and Jeanette Lawton.
As the plans for a new homeowners association evolved, the group who were to be the founders of the VHA agreed on some important principles. The association would be a constructive, positive thinking organization open to all homeowners in The Villages.
The group established some immediate goals – to enhance the quality of our retirement lifestyle, to approach and solve problems in a positive manner and to foster constructive communication between residents and the developer.
A notice was sent to all residents requesting responses from those interested in this proposed organization. When the number of positive responses quickly reached about 2,000, all doubt about the need for a new homeowners association vanished.
With Yvonne as temporary chairman, the group set about satisfying the legal requirements of the state of Florida to become a bona fide homeowners association. The charter was applied for and was received with Frank O’Brien named the Agent of Record.
One final task remained before the group would be ready for their first public meeting. For this planned homeowners association to be successful, they needed an agreement from the developer to meet with the organization’s representatives on a regular basis to discuss ideas and suggestions and to solve problems.
At that time, Yvonne Knudson was serving as a member of the Lady Lake Town Commission. As a commissioner, she had met and worked with the developer on various occasions.
This made her the obvious choice to talk with the developer. She made an appointment with Gary Morse to tell him about the forming of a new homeowners association and to secure his consent to meet with the board of the new organization on a regular basis.
Yvonne emphasized to Gary Morse that the association was to represent all Villages homeowners and would be a constructive organization pledged to approach their work in a positive manner. She pledged that this would be a homeowners association committed to negotiating rather than demanding and would be rational and reasonable in matters to be discussed.
When her meeting with him ended, Mr. Morse had agreed to meet with the board of the new homeowners association on a trial basis. If meetings with the organization proved to be constructive and business-like, the developers would continue meeting with us.
Properly chartered with the state and with the developer’s agreement to meet with the new homeowners association, the first public meeting was held on February 12, 1991. Several hundred Villagers gathered in the Carmen Miranda Room of the Paradise Recreation Center. By the end of that meeting, the Villages Homeowners Association had elected officers and many attendees had volunteered as Villages Representatives.
It was a unanimous decision that Yvonne Knudson should become the first president of the VHA. Other officers and directors were: Marvin Mitchell, vice president; Sue Hartman, secretary; Clara Streicher, treasurer; Frank O’Brien, director; Lewis Berry, director; and John Hlubb, director.
I became a charter member of the VHA and the representative for the village of Del Mar.
And that was the way it was. I was there – a part of the beginning of the Villages Homeowners Association.
There have been attempts to rewrite (falsify) the history of the VHA. But facts are facts, and attempting to change history cannot alter those facts.
Yvonne Knudson and others of the founding group are gone now, but their legacy lives on. The VHA continues to be that constructive, positive thinking organization, committed to enhancing our Villages lifestyle just as our founders envisioned.
Through the years, the VHA has complied a long and varied list of accomplishments – far too many for a complete listing.
Here are a few –
1991 – The VHA worked with the CIC and the POA on a petition drive to lower speed limits on Highway 27/441 and gain approval for construction of a golf cart bridge over the highway. The drive gathered over 6,000 signatures which enabled city officials and our state representative to persuade DOT to grant both requests.
1993 – The VHA contacted the DuPont Company regarding problems with polybutylene pipe used in manufactured houses from 1978 through 1989. We secured an agreement with DuPont that, through their claims group, they would, at their expense, inspect and repair or replace pipe as needed. Dupont fulfilled the terms of this agreement, and the polybutylene pipe was replaced in all homes experiencing problems with the pipe.
1995 – A driveway painting scam was operating in The Villages. The VHA newsletter informed residents about unlicensed contractors and the VHA arranged for representatives from the Florida State Attorney’s Office in Ocala to speak at our general meeting and also meet with residents who had been victimized. The State Attorney’s office investigated and later informed the VHA that those involved in the scam had been arrested.
1995 – The VHA Newcomers Social – now the VHA New Residents Night – was begun and continues each month to introduce new residents to the VHA and to provide them with vital information on local governments and organizations in the area surrounding The Villages.
1995 – The VHA held a charity golf tournament to benefit the Boggy Creek Camp for children with life threatening illnesses. Together with the help of many generous sponsors and participating golfers, the event raised $5,000 for the camp.
1996 – The VHA offered programs by the Better Business Bureau, WESH weatherman Marty Stebbins on hurricane preparedness, by the golf division on a new tee time system, and Mark Morse and Pete Wahl presented a program on the growth of The Villages. As 1996 was an election year, the VHA sponsored two candidates’ nights to offer residents an opportunity to become acquainted with candidates and their platforms prior to the general election.
Although not chartered as a charitable organization, the VHA has been active in many charitable endeavors since its beginning. In addition to the VHA Helping Hands Committee, other charitable projects include monetary donations to Haven, a home for battered women and their children; hurricane relief; donation of a golf cart for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department to aid them in patrolling The Villages; provided a computer and software for the Lady Lake Police Department and implemented a computerized house locator system to aid with emergency calls.
1997 – As a natural out-growth of these activities, the Charitable Giving Committee was established in June 1997. Some of the projects handled by this committee have been donations to: Lady Lake Police volunteers, Angel Flight, Habitat for Humanity organizations of Sumter and Lake Counties, Operation Home Bound, Salvation Army Tornado Relief Fund, MS Walk and scholarships to local graduating seniors at Wildwood High School.
1998 – In July, the VHA sponsored its first Golf Cart Safety Clinic. This popular community service project remains a vital tool in promoting traffic safety in The Villages. These safety clinics, held every month, are free of charge and open to all Villages residents.
The VHA organized a letter writing support campaign to win approval for The Villages Regional Hospital. Over 1,500 letters were generated by our residents. This project was also promoted by the CIC.
1999 – Late in 1999, the VHA launched a fund-raising campaign for “Our Hospital Project” to provide furnishings for the chapel and main lobby area of The Villages Regional Hospital.
2000 – The “Our Hospital Project” fund-raising efforts continued into 2000, when a series of sports events and a cruise arranged through The Villages AAA Travel on the Disney ship “Magic” netted $82,188.50. The certificate on the wall outside the hospital chapel reads: “Chapel and Lobby were furnished through the generosity and commitment of The Villages Homeowners Association.”
2001 – The VHA website was launched. The website plays a vital role in disseminating information to all Villages residents. Seasonal residents can access the website for current information when they are away from The Villages.
The VHA Charitable Giving Committee, first established in June 1997, evolved into The VHA Charitable Foundation, Inc. and on January 12, 2001 was certified by the Florida Secretary of State and recognized as an IRS Section 501 (c ) (3) Corporation, designated as a Public Charity in accordance with IRS 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi).
Also in 2001, seeing the need for quicker response times for medical assistance for residents in the Lady Lake-Lake County section of The Villages, a VHA committee was appointed to gather facts on existing response times in that area and to petition the government of Lady Lake to provide first response life support. This resulted in the ambulance provider repositioning vehicles in strategic locations and the Lake County Fire Department assigning a paramedic to each fire engine.
In late September, the VHA united with The Villages Public Safety Department for the community-wide United We Stand campaign to assist in collecting funds to be forwarded to the September 11 Fund. $242,841.95 was donated by generous Villagers in support of and to aid victims of the 9-11 terrorist attack.
2002 – The VHA continued to work on convincing Lady Lake and Lake County to provide for timely response to medical and fire emergencies in the Lady Lake-Lake County portion of The Villages.
Also in 2002, the VHA formed our Partners Program; an agreement with local businesses to offer various discounts to VHA members.
2003 – Recognizing the need for a local program to provide assistance in natural or man-made disasters, the VHA coordinated the formation of CERT. VHA board member, Bill Hennings, was instrumental in the establishment of a CERT unit in The Villages.
Our May 2003 general meeting marked the first of Mark Morse’s yearly “State of The Villages” addresses to members of the VHA. This continues to be the most popular VHA meeting of the year with an always capacity crowd eager to hear Mark tell us all the latest news about ongoing and future developments.
2004 – In May, the VHA announced we were committed to making The Villages a Heart Safe Community. All the requirements had been met except having automatic external defibrillators available for public use. The VHA donated an AED and formed a committee to contact civic organizations, local businesses and Villages clubs about raising and contributing funds for AED acquisitions. The VHA also worked with The Villages Public Safety Dept. to provide CPR training that included how to use AEDs. This was an ongoing project as individuals, clubs and neighborhoods joined in donating AEDs for the various recreation centers.
In September, 2004, the VHA presented the Lady Lake Police Department with a special police patrol golf cart for use within the Lady Lake city limits portion of The Villages.
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, the VHA accepted Ocean Springs, Miss. as its sister city and began raising funds to help in rebuilding their city. Various fund raisers allowed the VHA to present approximately $160,000 for this effort. The VHA also made donations to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, SPCS and United Way to assist in hurricane relief.
Since its inception, the VHA has been involved with safety issues in The Villages. In 2005, the VHA paid for the design, manufacture and installation of identifying signage for each tunnel location in The Villages. Each of these green signs bears the logo of the VHA plus a specific number and the nearest street address. This signage provides vital location information in case of emergencies.
During this time, the VHA membership approved by-law changes which resulted in a complete reorganization of the VHA. Regions and Regional Boards were created to better serve the membership.
In 2006, the VHA Charitable Foundation, Inc. presented $1,000 scholarships to each of four graduating seniors: two from Wildwood High School and two from The Villages Charter High School. The students were chosen from application forms submitted to the foundation committee showing financial need as well as academic achievement.
When the issue of the future governance of the Amenity Programs in the area of The Villages north of County Road 466 caused confusion and raised questions, the VHA printed articles in the July, Sept. and Oct. 2006 issues of The VHA Voice to share facts and information with the residents involved. While the VHA maintained a neutral position on this issue, our efforts to provide as much information as possible included a special insert in the Oct. 2006 VHA Voice on the Straw Poll concerning this issue that was to appear on the Nov. ballot.
Way before dawn on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2007, a devastating tornado tore through parts of The Villages. Once again, the VHA stood ready to help. Partnering with The Villages Entertainment Department, a huge benefit concert was held on Feb. 19. Entertainers who regularly appear in The Villages donated their time and talent. Other local businesses, groups and individuals contributed their support. The concert, plus additional donations brought the amount raised close to $70,000.
More entertainers volunteered than could be included on the program, so a second benefit was scheduled. All funds raised were placed in a specially designated account of the VHA Charitable Foundation, Inc. and 100% of those funds was spent in disaster relief. Generous donations were made to the Wildwood and Lady Lake food pantries.
As information on the tornado was compiled, it was determined that most of The Villages, most of Sumter County and parts of Lake County were not able to receive a weather-alert radio signal, and thus had no warning of the approach of the storm that tore through in the middle of the night.
With the support of the National Weather Service, the Sumter County Commission agreed to install a weather-radio transmitter. The problem was the money was not available to do this immediately.
To solve that problem, the VHA donated $50,000 from the VHA Tornado Relief Fund to ensure that the Weather-Radio Transmitter warning system would be in place by the start of the 2007 hurricane season on June 1. Almost meeting that goal, on Monday, July 16 a ceremony was held officially dedicating the new NWS Weather-Alert Radio Transmitter.
Going a step further, the VHA worked with The Villages Public Safety Department to set up a program to assist people with tuning their weather-alert radios to receive the signal from the new transmitter.
In June, another donation was made from the VHA Charitable Foundation’s Tornado Relief Fund: a $15,000 check was presented to the VCCDD to purchase a small four-wheel drive all terrain vehicle equipped with appropriate emergency equipment, including the ability to transport an injured person on a backboard or stretcher, that can get around when the roads are not open in the event of another disaster.
In 2008, the VHA circulated a petition in support of the Sumter County Commission’s effort to get the U.S. Post Office to agree to put a full-service, golf-cart accessible post office in The Villages. In excess of 15,000 signatures were gathered; U.S. Representatives Ginny Brown-Waite and Cliff Stearns supported our efforts. Even though the U.S. Postal Service said NO to a full-service post office, we were successful in getting a golf cart accessible part-time mobile postal unit in the then Sweetbay (now Winn-Dixie) parking lot.
In Sept. 2008, the VHA and the Villages Community Development Districts sponsored a very successful Water Conservation Expo which featured informative presentations on such topics as how to irrigate more efficiently and the best management practices of lawn and landscaping maintenance.
Also in 2008, the VHA forged a new partnership with The Villages Regional Hospital and the Central Florida Health Alliance as we worked to constantly improve health care availability in The Villages.
The VHA participated in the campaign for a full-service, golf-cart accessible, VA clinic in The Villages.
We worked with local law enforcement to prepare and distribute brochures titled “Golf Cart and Low Speed Vehicle Safety Guidelines In and Around The Villages. “
We worked with Home Warranty, Home Construction and The Villages Management to resolve the aesthetic issue of Vinyl Siding on certain new homes.
From 2009 to 2012, the VHA continued to evolve to better serve Villages residents.
- Refined and developed the Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles which were drafted the previous year. These can be found on the VHA website and are printed several times a year in the VHA Voice.
- Developed working partnerships with principals of each of the partner groups in the VHA Circle of Partners. The circle listing the partners is posted on the VHA website and is frequently printed in the VHA Voice.
- Advanced the VHA’s top priority of Healthcare in The Villages. This included participation in the development of the USF Health and The Villages Health Survey leading to the creation of The Villages Health.
- Established the VHA Annual Awards Program to recognize and promote worthy organizations and programs in The Villages. Award categories are: VHA Partner of the Year, Volunteer Organization of the Year, and Program of the Year.
- Engaged Partners to solve major issues/problems for Village residents including: Flooding in homes due to drain system faults, Owens Corning shingle failures (blistering shingles), Heating and Air Conditioning failures which involved underground refrigerant lines.
Flooding. The flooding in homes due to the drain system faults affected about a dozen Villages residents in the Persimmon Loop and Grassy Point sections of the Village of Duval. Most of these residents had no or inadequate flood insurance to cover their personal losses totaling about $97,000. Generous businessmen in The Villages community, including the Developer, came to the aid of these residents by contributing to a special fund established for this disaster by The Villages Homeowners Association Charitable Foundation. VHA Charitable Foundation chairperson Alice Terrill stated that she was pleased that the Foundation could be of assistance in this effort and expressed appreciation for the generosity of these businessmen whose donations allowed the losses of the affected Villages residents to be covered 100%.
Blistering shingles. VHA President Don Hahnfeldt and Home Warranty established a working relationship with Owens Corning resulting in an agreement with the VHA to inspect roofs and have local roofing contractors replace blistering shingles at OC’s expense; not the homeowners. The defective shingles were limited to certain lots of shingles, and Home Warranty’s records identified on which homes those lots of shingles had been used. Articles in the VHA newsletter, “The Voice,” in 2010 and 2011 kept residents up-to-date on Owens Corning’s progress in taking care of this problem. The VHA and Home Warranty continued to monitor Owens Corning’s progress in solving the problem in a satisfactory manner.
Heating and Air Conditioning failures. In mid-September, 2011, after many months of working with The Villages, Home Warranty, Home Construction and local contractors, the VHA announced that additional relief for past and future residents has been agreed upon in the form of an Extended HVAC Service Plan at no cost to homeowners experiencing HVAC refrigerant line corrosion.
The coverage in the new extended service plan is for the repair and replacement of HVAC copper refrigerant lines due to corrosion, together with the cost of the repair/replacement of other air conditioner components whose failure is reasonably related to the failure of leaking of such HVAC lines.
The process of nearly two years leading to this agreement involved several steps in correcting HVAC refrigerant line problems – a rather quick identification of HVAC refrigerant line corrosion problems, a lengthy trouble-shooting period, and a multitude of corrective actions, in attempts to resolve the matter. The VHA team, contractors and air conditioning installers had multiple and periodic meetings, brainstorming remedies and solutions that included changes in materials, procedures, inspections and specifications. The VHA team, headed by Bill Gottschalk, worked closely with Home Warranty and Sun Kool Air Conditioning and Heating in seeking solutions.
All aspects of this matter will continue to be monitored and evaluated. Residents have reassurance through the Extended Service Plan, which goes above and beyond anything either The Villages or the subcontractors were obligated to do, that a fair and equitable result has been achieved on behalf of the affected homeowners.
The solutions in all three of these issues resulted in long reaching benefits to residents.
- Began electronic distribution of the VHA Villages Voice. While seasonal residents are away from The Villages, they can still “receive” the Voice each month via the VHA website.
- President Don Hahnfeldt conducted monthly regular radio interviews and periodic special event broadcasts.
- The VHA participated in The Villages’ district government pilot Residents’ Academy assisting in its development for Village-wide implementation.
- The VHA expanded from just an advocacy and problem solving organization to a participant in decision-making and policy setting with its major partners.
In 2012, when the controversy arose over the funding of Live Oaks Park, VHA President Don Hahnfeldt advised that under the Project Wide Agreement of May 1, 2010, project wide funds should be used in the development of the park project. Jack Knapp, who succeeded Don Hahnfeldt as VHA President, went to each CDD District south of CR 466 to advocate having Live Oaks Park remain part of the responsibilities of the Project Wide Agreement. Both VHA presidents made the case that this property is actually wetland/open space owned by the SLCDD and is not a recreational facility.
The VHA held a Town Hall Meeting on this issue where the District Manager was questioned by VHA representatives concerning Live Oaks Park. Each VHA representative also had the opportunity to question the District Manager concerning the park, and left the meeting knowing that their districts’ elected representative had acted appropriately in determining that Project Wide funds should be used to develop the park.
VHA representatives passed this information along to the residents of their respective regions. President Knapp said, “This is an example of the VHA working to get the facts and accurate information to Villages residents involving important issues.”
The VHA continued to address the concerns expressed by some Villagers over the administration of the Project Wide Agreement by proposing a Project Wide Advisory Committee that would involve direct resident input and oversight concerning how Project Wide programs and projects are categorized and prioritized. The SLCDD, BWCDD and the Community Development Districts south of CR 466 unanimously approved the VHA resolution proposing the formation of an advisory committee. The committee became a reality on Feb. 15, 2013.
In early 2013, the VHA President Bill Gottschalk continued working with The Villages Home Warranty Office and Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt concerning another problem with shingles – the issue of granule loss on certain lots of Owens Corning Oakridge shingles. President Gottschalk and home warranty representatives met with Owens Corning people. An agreement was reached that Owens Corning personnel would conduct on-site evaluations and communicate directly with homeowners.
Owns Corning expressed their desire to resolve this concern in the most efficient and effective manner and would continue to keep The Villages Home Warranty Office as well as the VHA informed. As Owens Corning updated the VHA on resolving claims, their letters to President Bill Gottschalk were printed in the Voice and put on the VHA website. VHA involvement will continue as long as there is a need for us to do so.
Owens Corning shingles have not been used on new construction in The Villages for the past three years.
Also in 2013, there was the issue of “the wall.” When golf cart access from Paradise Drive to the Leesburg Regional Medical Center was closed off by a wall, it created a problem that required a quick resolution. The VHA became engaged, listened to our members and Villages residents and immediately began negotiations for the removal of the wall. With the full support of the VHA Board, VHA President Bill Gottschalk met with representatives of the developer and the District Government to discuss and find a resolution that would meet the needs of our residents. Here is a time line of events.
The wall was constructed early Saturday morning, Sept. 10, 2013.
- Sunday, Sept. 11th Board members Sandy Mott and Judy Glasel and VHA past president Roger Kass contacted the developer’s office on behalf of concerned residents.
- Sunday evening, when Bill picked up his voice mail and email, he also contacted the developer’s representative regarding the wall and concerns of residents.
- Monday morning, further emails were sent between the developer’s representative and Bill. These emails resulted in a phone conversation in which they discussed resident concerns and possible solutions.
- Tuesday morning a phone conversation between Bill and the District Manager resulted in a meeting later that day to discuss possible solutions. That meeting resulted in the District Manager, the developer’s representative and Bill agreeing to a compromise on a possible solution they would all agree on, which would be presented to the AAC for approval.
- Late Tuesday afternoon a news release was prepared and agreed on by all parties involved and sent to the Daily Sun for publication.
- Wednesday, the news release was printed in the paper. That proposal called for the developer to donate to the District Government the home site on Paradise Drive, which had previously been utilized as a golf cart path. As a condition of that donation, the district would build and maintain a gate that would allow access to Villages residents only.
- Thursday morning, Sept. 15th, at the Villages Center District meeting, the District Manager requested the Center District affirm the proposal and forward on to the AAC. This was done and the proposal was forwarded to the AAC for final action at their meeting the next week.
- Thursday afternoon, email correspondence between Bill Gottschalk and the developer’s representative indicated that the Friday morning edition of the Daily Sun would present the developer’s forth coming action as a matter of good faith regarding the wall issue.
Through cooperation and negotiations by the VHA, the developer’s representative and the District Manager, the issue was resolved and Villages residents again had golf cart access to the Medical Center. The wall was removed. A new, more secure gate was installed that requires Villagers’ key cards to operate.
2013 also saw changes in the VHA Charitable Foundation, Inc. as it became the VHA Community Foundation, Inc. The VHA reorganization continued as the board met in a day long workshop to formulate long range plans.
2014 – The January VHA meeting is when we honor special organizations for all they have done, and continue to do, that makes The Villages lifestyle so unique. The Volunteer Service Organization of the Year Award was presented to Seniors vs. Crime. The Outstanding Partner of the Year recipient was the Sumter County Sheriffs Department. And the Outstanding Service Award went to the University of Florida Sumter County Extension Office supported by our Master Gardeners.
2014 – The VHA Charitable Foundation, Inc. reorganization was completed and is now officially the VHA Community Foundation Inc., a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a focus on prevention programs, emergency response and enhancements for the well-being of those who live in and visit our community.
At the May VHA meeting, Mark Morse and family presented the annual “State of The Villages.” Mark, Tracy and Jennifer brought their families – children and grandchildren to the delight of the capacity crowd.
The VHA completed its reorganization; dividing the different VHA Regions into three areas – North, Central and South. The bylaws also were revised and simplified.
In August, the VHA held a special meeting to approve the revised VHA bylaws and to approve the appointment of the vice presidents of North, Central and South Areas.
In September 2014, the VHA sponsored a Candidates Night. All candidates for CDD and AAC positions were invited to meet with residents in their respective areas. Each candidate could talk about his/her qualifications and reasons for running for office. Residents were given an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates.
In October 2014, the VHA received a donation of a Pacesaver Mobility Scooter, commonly referred to as a hoveround. The donors made one stipulation – that the hoveround be given to a veteran or the spouse of a veteran. VHA President Bill Gottschalk asked board members to search for a veteran who needed a scooter. VHA South Area Vice President Kay Elder sent out an inquiry email and was surprised to receive an answer from right across the street. The neighbor explained that her husband, a Vietnam veteran, had suffered a heart attack and two strokes, making him wheelchair bound. He really wanted a hoveround, but they were unable to afford one. Bill, Executive Vice President Fred Briggs and Kay arranged a surprise for the vet. And when they presented him with the Pacesaver Mobility Scooter, Kay asked what it meant to him. His answer was “Freedom.” Because of a generous donation of a hoveround, the VHA was able to help a veteran who had served his country and fought for our freedom.
In November 2014, we were honored to be asked to receive, on behalf of the bicycle clubs and the residents of The Villages, The League of American Bicyclists Silver Award for being a bike friendly community. VHA Executive Vice President Fred Briggs accepted the award and praised the bicyclists, the bike clubs and the District Government for working to promote bike safety in The Villages.
The VHA continues to support making The Villages “America’s Healthiest Hometown” and to promote safety in our community. Safety on our streets and throughout our community will continue to be an important effort of the VHA as we work with local law enforcement agencies and the District Government.
A partial list of some VHA ongoing health and safety projects include:
- Working with Village Golf Cars a program was begun to provide VHA members with a 15% discount on select golf cart safety items.
- Partnering with our District Government and the Sumter County Sheriffs Department on Operation S.A.F.E. – Stop Adult Financial Exploitation.
- Partnering with District government and Tri-County law enforcement on the Car Fit program.
- Sponsoring Village Health Presentations as each of the Village Health Clinics opened.
- Care Trac – The VHA Community Foundation provided equipment for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department Alzheimer’s monitoring program.
The VHA board and representatives continue to meet quarterly with representatives of the developer and the District Government to discuss issues, ask questions and make suggestions. Information from these meetings is reported in the VHA newsletter, “The VHA Villages Voice,” and made available on our website www.thevha.net .
Past and current VHA Presidents, board members and representatives continue serving in many positions on boards, committees, clubs and community organizations. We believe in being involved and giving back to the community. We will continue to be proactive problem solvers and a constructive voice in the day-to-day happenings in The Villages “To preserve and enhance the value of our homes and The Villages’ lifestyle.” (The VHA Mission)
VHA PRESIDENTS AND THEIR TERMS OF OFFICE
Yvonne Knudson Feb. 1991 – May 1992
Sandy Mott May 1992 – Feb. 1994
Frank O’Brien Mar. 1994 – Sept. 1994
Herb Gibson Sept. 1994 – Feb. 1996
Virgil Musser Mar. 1996 – June 1996
Frank Topping June 1996 – Feb. 2000
Sy Rosenblatt Mar. 2000 – Feb. 2001
Chico Mir Mar. 2001 – Feb. 2003
Don Burgess Mar. 2003 – Feb. 2005
Doug Tharp Mar. 2005 – Feb. 2007
Roger Kass Mar. 2007 – Feb. 2009
Don Hahnfeldt Mar. 2009 – Feb. 2012
Jack Knapp Mar. 2012 – Feb. 2013
Bill Gottschalk Mar. 2013 – Dec. 2014
Fred Briggs Dec. 2014 – Present
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