At Insurance Advantage, we truly enjoy giving back to the community. Currently, we dedicate a large portion of our time and resources to Pathfinder Academy for Autism and the BV Memorial 5K +1. Both of these charities have a special place in our hearts, and we would love to share them with you. Read below to find out about each, and see how you too can get involved.
Linda Valley, our office manager since 2008, and her husband, Stan, moved to Jacksonville in December 1996, as part of Stan's Air Force career. Although Linda was born and raised in Millinocket, Maine, she has adopted Arkansas as her home. In 1987 Brian, Linda and Stan's youngest son, was born with Hirschprungs Disease which required immediate surgery. Seven months after the initial surgery, Linda, Stan, and older brother Aaron and Brian returned to Vermont for Brian's second surgery. Having no family or any connection in Vermont, they lived at the Ronald McDonald House for over a month where people listened to them, provided for them and loved them. As a result of this experience, the family became weekend relief volunteers and eventually served on the Board of Governors for the house.
In 1992, the Valleys were stationed at RAF Lakenheath, England, where they stayed until the move to Little Rock Air Force Base.
Their lives were changed forever when Brian died of a drug overdose on December 14, 2006. The tragedy revealed to Stan, Linda, and Aaron that this time on Earth is limited and must be used wisely. This realization led them to The Ronald McDonald House Charities of AR. They decided to give back as they had been given to. Stan and Linda now serve as volunteers of the house. Together, they have cooked over 80 meals for house guests and have been able to minister to others in need.
While participating in the St. Jude Half Marathon in 2011, Linda and Stan realized that a race benefiting the Ronald McDonald House would be a great way to honor Brian and help others. In April of 2012, the first BV Memorial 5K + 1 was held in Jacksonville. All proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas.
By going that 5K + 1 extra mile, everyone makes a difference in people's lives when the Ronald McDonald House of Arkansas steps in to help others have a place to call home.
Each fall our agency sponsors "Grill-Em Day" for the students staff and parents of Pathfinder Academy for Autism...
In 1971, Phyllis Padget approached Colonel McLyle and Joan Zumwalt (Lisa Bamburg's parents) asking them to assist in creating a non-profit organization that would benefit physically and mentally handicapped children in the Jacksonville area.
The Zumwalts were happy to lend a hand personally and financially and thus began Pathfinder, Inc. Today, Pathfinder, Inc. is headquartered in Jacksonville and serves children and adults throughout the state of Arkansas.
What the Zumwalts didn't realize was that one day Pathfinder would benefit one of their grandchildren! Joel, Lisa's son, is an 18 year old autistic, non-verbal young man. In 2010, Pathfinder opened the Academy for Autism.
Each year, our office sponsors "Grill 'Em Day" for the students, families, and staff of the Academy. Our staff, along with the Whit Davis Lumber and Zumwalt Enterprises, provides grilled burgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings followed by a time of family crafts and fellowship. We also provide the children and staff with custom made t-shirts for the event.
Working for you, not an insurance company!