Three People who are making a difference

Jane Avery-Du Bois, Nancy Moss and Kaitie Schlehr

Jane Avery-Du Bois

Miracle Limbs Courage in Motion annual bike ride event director

Jane Avery-Du Bois has turned her passion for cycling into powerful service for Miracle Limbs. As a cyclist and owner of four Trek Bicycle Store locations in South Florida, she is using her skills and experience to help organize Miracle Limbs’ Courage in Motion Benefit Bike Ride, the organization’s primary fundraiser for the year. Miracle Limbs is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that provides physical, psychological and financial support to amputees in Southwest Florida.

“I just feel like sometimes there’s a lack of light being shined on what Miracle Limbs is doing and how many amputees are in need,” Avery-Du Bois said.

This year’s fundrasing goal is a minimum of $75,000, which will help provide Southwest Florida’s amputees with professional and peer counseling, financial assistance, local support group development, and referrals to specialists and organizations to support their emotional and physical needs.

“Miracle Limbs is so much more concerned for the amputees rather than just the financial aspect of it,” Avery-Du Bois said. “They’ve done a lot in making sure that not only the amputee, but also the amputee’s family, is taken care of emotionally and physically. They do everything possible to help amputees and their families get back to normal activities. They help them get back to their lives.”

The fifth annual Courage in Motion Benefit Bike Ride will take place on March 16 at North Collier Regional Park. The ride includes breakfast and lunch buffets, a raffle drawing, a silent auction and prizes. The event will feature April Holmes, a three-time Paralympic medalist. Miracle Limbs will honor Wounded Warrior Sgt. Robert Easley, Jr.

Miracle Limbs is still in need of volunteers for the ride. Those interested in volunteering should email Avery-Do Bois at jane@trekbikesflorida.com.

Information: www.miraclelimbs.org

Nancy Moss

Member of the Healthy Start board of directors

When Nancy Moss attended Healthy Start’s Winning Big for Babies fundraiser last year, she made a personal connection to the organization’s mission. Moss’s daughter, Sarah, was born prematurely and spent the first month of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit. Thankfully, Moss had the resources to care for Sarah, who is now 15 years old. Now, as a member Healthy Start’s board of directors, Moss helps ensure that other pregnant women and babies have access to the vital care they need.

Healthy Start is a nonprofit organization that provides services including prenatal care, risk screening for pregnant women, referral services, beds for babies, home-based maternity care advising and more. Healthy Start has been serving Lee, Collier, Glades, and Hendry counties since 1992.

Last year, Healthy Start provided services that helped reduce infant deaths and increase healthy births to more than 17,000 pregnant women and babies in Southwest Florida.

“I feel very proud and very humble,” Moss said. “I’m extremely proud to be affiliated with an organization that does such wonderful things for babies and for women who are having babies. I’m humbled because it’s awesome to see what they are able to accomplish.”

Winning Big for Babies will take place on March 16 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Estero. Guests can enjoy an exciting night of entertainment that will include casino games such as poker, roulette, craps and blackjack as well as games for non-gamblers. Admission to the event will include access to drinks, buffet food stations and “funny money” for the games. The event will also feature live music by Daniel Melvin and silent and live auctions by professional auctioneer Jenelle “Gala Gal” Taylor.

Information: www.healthystartbaby.org

Kaitie Schlehr

Case manager for Lighthouse of Collier

Kaitie Schlehr has recently joined Lighthouse of Collier as a case manager. Schlehr graduated with a Bachelor’s of science degree in psychology from Florida State University. She plans to pursue a Master’s degree in social work at Florida Gulf Coast University.

“From the first day I started here, I feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives,” Schlehr said. “It just makes me really happy to help people.”

Lighthouse of Collier is the only center for blindness and vision loss in Collier County. The nonprofit organization promotes the development, implementation and ongoing evaluation of programs and services that are geared toward helping the estimated 14,000 local blind and visually impaired children and adults become independent.

“I think it’s really important because of the aging population we have here in Collier County,” Schlehr said. “There’s a lot of age-related diseases that cause blindness and vision loss, so it’s very important to have a resource for those people in the county.”

Schlehr helps the blind and visually impaired regain independence by completing functional assessments to take stock of the services they need, creating customized service plans, contacting service providers, and following up to make sure clients are being taken care of. Clients may need help with orientation and mobility, daily living skills, assistive technology and coping with vision loss.

Schlehr said, “I’d just like people to know that we’re here. If you’re losing your vision or if you have visual impairment, there are resources, and you don’t have to go through it alone.”

Information: www.lighthouseofcollier.org.

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