Dear Mr. Butt
I wanted you to be aware of the wonderful hospitality, security and kindness that was shown during the recent hurricane to my family by the staff and administration at the Gardens of Venice. Erica Lagerman, who volunteers and works at the front desk there, is the daughter of our next door neighbors, Bob and Diane Lagerman. When we were all fored to evacuate, she obtained permission to bring not only her family but ours as well to safety at Gardens of Venice. In addition we were allowed to bring our beloved
pets, which was such a blessing.
What an amazing group of people you have working there, and what gems you have in Venissa Driggers and Kristian Dunda! They did a superb job in maintaining a calm and professional demeanor and in ensuring the safety of their residents and of the guests who gained shelter there. They used their resources wisely and managed to feed a lot of extra mouths, calm a lot of anxious people, adequacy of power and water, and their availability during the storm. I don’t think either of them slept for those days. The kitchen
staff fed the residents and then did another entire service for the sheltered guests at each meal, something we never expected. I dont know the exact number but it appeared that the population at the Gardens
nearly doubled during the three day period we were there. There were even terrific activities for kids of all ages, keeping them distracted and actively entertained. The Building itself was very secure, so much so that we barely heard the sound of the storm. Power was not interrupted and the windows and doors were well secured for the duration of the storm. Kristian and Venissa even had an alternative plan in the event that flooding reached us. Luckily that did not come to pass.
If we ever have to evacuate again, I hope that the Gardens of Venice will again be able to offer shelter and comfort to those fleeing a storm and leaving behind their homes. It was a privileged to have been able to
stay there, and to see your staff at work, rising to the occasion with grace, competency and professionalism. Please extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone there.
Please extend a special thanks as well to the gentleman who was traveling in Germany and whose rooms we enjoyed. We hope we left his apartment as we found it.
Once again, our sincere thanks,
Pat Nevius and Lewis Stogner