The 4th Annual Carefree’s Got Talent competition drew nearly 2,000 competitors and attendees to the Lakeland Center March 24 in Lakeland, Fla., raising $25,000 to support Disabled American Veterans.
“One-hundred precent of Carefree’s donation will go to help our veterans get the benefits and disability compensation they deserve,” Disabled American Veterans Volunteer Service Chairman Mary Ann Keckler said.
Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to vets who are determined by VA to be disabled by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service.
“As a veteran and Carefree resident, I was so honored to be a part of such a wonderful day,” said Bill Flynn, Vietnam veteran and resident of Rainbow Village Carefree RV Resort. “It’s crucial for veterans, like me, to have a place to turn to when in need, and DAV provides us with that support system. Being asked on stage to personally hand over the $25,000 check to DAV truly made my day.”
The Carefree’s Got Talent finale came after weeks of preliminary park contests at 28 different RV and MH communities throughout Florida. A panel of three judges, including Carefree’s first ever celebrity judge, Wayne Nelson from the Little River Band, determined the winners.
Fredric Sirasky, from Carefree’s Sarasota based Sun-N-Fun RV Resort took home the first-place honor, and a grand prize of $5,000 with his clarinet and singing performance in an “Ode to Carefree”.
In second place, Tom Wyatt and John Toolin of Baker Acres located in Zephyrhills humored the crowd with their comedy act and were awarded $500.
Dennis Bowker of Club Wildwood Manufactured Home Community performed a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Trouble,” and walked away with the third-place prize of $250.
Carefree Communities partnered with DAV just a year ago and has already given over $50,000 in cash and in-kind donations from CGT and fundraising in various Carefree resorts and communities.