Good Day!   Weather wise, it has been great when we dodged the latest tropical storms. The hurricane season is approaching the half way point so let’s hope we keep on dodging all to come.

Our Public Safety Department in the Villages is the most efficient department in response time to emergencies. If any option selected by the Ad Hoc Committee requires that we merge with the County and eliminate The Villages Public Safety Department, we will lose the advantages of having the best coverage and benefits offered by our own well-run fire department.  Take the time contact the Sumter County Commissioners and share your feeling that we have to keep our own department. Emails for each Commissioner is:

I want to recognize two individuals who have chosen to step aside from their VHA responsibilities to meet other callings:

  • Andy Bilardello, Vice President of the Far South, is looking to have more time to follow other passions and political interests. The Far South area is the fastest growing area of the Villages, South of 44. Communicating with new residents and sharing with them the benefits of joining The VHA has been a challenging job and Andy has met that challenge. Join me in wishing Andy the best.
  • William (Bill) Gottschalk, President of The VHA Helping Hands program, is retiring. He will be missed. Bill is a past President of the VHA, but after he retired from that position, he saw an opportunity in one of the programs of The VHA and became a passionate supporter of Helping Hands by becoming a volunteer, and then President. Since 2018, Bill has worked alongside many volunteers in making Helping Hands a valuable service to The Villages community by offering durable medical equipment available at no charge. Bill has brought passion for the service that Helping Hands offers, and pride for what has been accomplished by this program.  Bill will, no doubt, take his passion to whatever lies ahead for him. Join me in wishing Bill the best.

As Andy and Bill step aside, they offer opportunities to VHA members to fill their spots, along with other volunteer needs listed on Page 4.   I talk with many of you who want to help, but have hesitated to step up to the plate.  Here is your chance. Call me at (352)753-8618, or email me at  [email protected]  and let’s talk about how you can join us in “Keeping the Dream Alive”.

Phil Walker,
VHA President