Neighborly Care Network, a pioneer in eldercare services, held its 50th Anniversary Celebration on October 21st. Since 1966, Neighborly has provided home- and community-based services to the elderly in Pinellas County so that they may live independently in their own homes. Neighborly started the first federally funded Meals on Wheels program, as well as the first Adult Day Care in the nation. Some other life-sustaining programs include Senior Dining, Transportation, Nutrition Counseling, and the nationally innovative Neighborly Pharmacy.


50th Anniversary Celebration

50th Anniversary Celebration

The celebration was attended by Neighborly staff, volunteers, community dignitaries and long time partners of Neighborly. The evening began with renowned conductor and symphonic music presenter Roger Nierenberg. It was a fascinating, interactive experience enjoyed by everyone.


The event continued with awards for Neighborly staff and volunteers. The longest tenure award for a staff member was given to Cindy Webb who started with the organization in 1979. “When she was hired in 1979, she was told that they would not hire her unless she agreed to stay for at least one year”, stated Debra Shade, Neighborly Care Network President/CEO. “I think she has fulfilled that promise and then some!”


The volunteer of the decade was awarded to Richard Struckmeier. Mr. Struckmeier has been volunteering for the Neighborly Senior Dining program for the past 30 years. Each day he rides his bicycle to the dining site and helps pack meals for Meals on Wheels and helps serve the dining participants. “Richard is loved by everyone and will help out in any way we ask,” stated Maureen Vennerbeck, site coordinator for the Neighborly Senior Dining Café in Gulfport. Richard, who turned 90 on October 23rd, was surprised and thrilled to be recognized. After the awards and acknowledgements, the evening continued with dancing to music by Soul System.


Debra Shade, President/CEO for the past 18 years, thanked the staff, volunteers, and community partners for attending. She also thanked the sponsors who helped make the event possible. They included, Brown and Brown Insurance, Raymond James, and GA Food. GA, a partner of Neighborly since its inception 50 years ago, also donated 50 microwaves, to 50 Neighborly Meals on Wheels clients, for our 50 years of service.

Terry White, GA Food, presents Sandi Narron, Neighborly Director of Marketing with one of the 50 microwaves for 50 Meals on Wheels clients for Neighborly’s 50 years

Terry White, GA Food, presents Sandi Narron, Neighborly Director of Marketing with one of the 50 microwaves for 50 Meals on Wheels clients for Neighborly’s 50 years

Neighborly’s impact over the past 50 years is astonishing:

Number of clients served – More than 151,000

Number of Meals delivered and served – Over 31 Million

Number of Day Care Hours – Greater than 10 Million

Number of Transportation trips – More than 11 Million


Looking back over the past 50 years, Neighborly is proud of its accomplishments. “We constantly seek ways to improve what we are doing in order to satisfy the needs of our clients. We are proud to be distinguished as one of the leaders in the field of aging,” stated Debra Shade. “With the help of our staff, volunteers, and community, we look forward to the next 50 years!”