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Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay finds creative take on fundraising

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A GoFundMe page created to raise money for the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay created in late October is still less than half way to its goal. Of the $3,000 targeted to help fund various services through the program, the page has raised just $1,150 as of late Friday afternoon.

This being despite some pretty compelling marketing. Norm Bungard, a 74 year old volunteer with the organization, jumped from a perfectly good airplane to raise awareness, and money, for the issue.

“Norm is LITERALLY going to the ends of the earth to help raise funds for the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay,” the funding page created by St. Pete City Council member and foundation executive director Amy Foster said.

Bungard has been a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for seven years and is an active volunteer in the St. Pete community. After retiring from the Social Security Administration, he said began volunteering to fulfill “a spiritual need to give back.” Bungard also serves as a mentor, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, Chaplain and Program Chair for Civitan, and as a Board member for Daystar Life Center.

Of the total donated so far, Foster donated $100 while Bungard contributed $500. That means more than half the funds raised came from the creator and the benefitting foundations head.

The tandem skydive happened this week on Giving Tuesday and was aimed at drawing in as many contributions as possible. While twelve donations rolled in, it wasn’t enough to meet the group’s goal.

Since the Giving Tuesday angle didn’t work for the agency, perhaps a feel good Friday shout out might give the fundraising effort a little boost.

Check out the GoFundMe Page to see what it looks like when a retiree takes to skydiving. Even if you don’t donate, it’s pretty inspirational.

The Guardian Ad Litem foundation partners volunteers with abused and neglected children to advocate on their behalf. The state of Florida requires that children meeting certain requirements each be represented by a Guardian Ad Litem.

In the Tampa Bay area about 3,000 children a year appear in court and more than 1,000 at any given time are waiting for a Guardian to advocate on their behalf.

The fundraising efforts would help pay for various services to help the foundation thrive and provide services those children need and deserve.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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