Goodwill, iHeart Media bring holiday cheer to two soldiers

Organizations work together to identify a veteran and an active duty serviceman to receive tickets to holiday events

Published Tuesday, December 12, 2017

92.1 CTQ radio personality Lulu, Goodwill Manasota's director of the Veterans Services Program C.J. Bannister, military spouse Jennifer Koeln, veteran Paul Dabule, Goodwill vice president Veronica Brandon Miller, and 92.1 CTQ radio personality Maverick Johnson SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – A veteran and an active duty soldier were recently provided with some holiday cheer when iHeart Media surprised them with tickets to upcoming special events. These servicemen were selected with the assistance of Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program.

The first recipient was Paul Dabule, a successful graduate of Goodwill Manasota’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). Dabule has endured some tough times but now has a great job and a home for himself and his children. To congratulate him for his accomplishments, iHeart Media surprised him with four tickets for his family to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on December 17th at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.  These tickets were gifted in response to a wish to Santa from Dabule’s daughter. 

The other recipient was Matthew Koeln, a soldier returning home in early December from his final deployment with plans to retire after 25 years of service in the Air Force. He was surprised by iHeart Media with tickets for him and his wife to enjoy Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.

Dabule and Koeln’s wife, Jennifer, were presented with the tickets by iHeart representatives on December 8th, with several staff members from Goodwill Manasota’s Foundation and Veterans Services Program on hand. Jennifer was on her way that morning to pick up Matthew – who was returning home from active duty for the final time – from the airport.

“At IHeart Media, we believe we have a responsibility to inform, inspire and support our local community,” said Bill Ames, vice president of sales for iHeart Media Sarasota. “We are fortunate to be able to partner with Goodwill and provide some holiday cheer to individuals who wear or have worn the cloth of our nation and served bravely.” 

“We are extremely grateful to iHeart Media for having the same passion as Goodwill for helping those who serve our country,” added Veronica Brandon Miller, vice president of Goodwill Manasota. “When partners come together for the betterment of the community, everyone wins. We are proud to have made the holidays brighter for Paul, Matthew, and their families.” 

For more information about Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call (941) 355-2721.

 

PHOTO ID: (From l-r) 92.1 CTQ radio personality Lulu, Goodwill Manasota's director of the Veterans Services Program C.J. Bannister, military spouse Jennifer Koeln, veteran Paul Dabule, Goodwill vice president Veronica Brandon Miller, and 92.1 CTQ radio personality Maverick Johnson 

About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.