Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Governor Scott Presents Governor’s Business Ambassador Awards to Promise

Scott presented Governor’s Business Ambassador Awards to Promise in Brevard co-founders Luke and Betsy Farmer.

Founded in 2009, Promise in Brevard operates an affordable housing complex for 126 special-needs adults on 39 acres adjacent to Hammock Landing, on Norfolk Parkway.

Gov. Rick Scott paid a visit to Promise in Brevard in West Melbourne Friday morning to announce job numbers and present Governor’s Business Ambassador Awards to Betsy Farmer and her son Luke, co-founders of Promise in Brevard.

Promise in Brevard also operates Promise Treasures Thrift Shoppe in the Metro West Shopping Center, employing 10 adults with disabilities. The nonprofit seeks $150,000 to finish building the Promise Café & Bakery at West Melbourne Community Park. City officials will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the park’s second construction phase at 11 a.m. Saturday.

See the full article in Florida Today.

Promise Creative Arts Center

USA Today Humankind Profiles on Promise

USA Today and Florida Today posted a series of three Humankind profiles on residents of Promise in Brevard. The West Melbourne community provides adults with disabilities a place to live and work. The first phase of the community opened this fall. Last year, Promise was awarded a $100,000 grant by A Community Thrives, a USA TODAY NETWORK initiative. Humankind, also a part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, tells amazing stories about people performing positive acts, overcoming great odds and sharing special connections.

You can read the Humankind Profiles here:

Daughter living on her own thanks to new housing development

Visually impaired man finds a sweet job and a bachelor’s pad at Promise in Brevard

Promise in Brevard helps woman live her dream of independence despite challenges of autism

What is Promise In Brevard?

Betsy Farmer, co-founder of Promise in Brevard, explains the organization’s mission and what the $100,000 A Community Thrives grant from the USA TODAY Network will mean for the Space Coast.

Video by Rob Landers and Malcolm Denemark.

Gannett Awards $100,000 to Promise

A Community Thrives, a Gannett program of the USA TODAY Network, awarded $100,000 to Promise in Brevard’s Creative Arts Center.

A West Melbourne nonprofit agency serving adults with disabilities won one of three $100,000 grants awarded by A Community Thrives, a USA Today Network initiative. “It’s an answer to prayer for the families,” Promise in Brevard co-founder Betsy Farmer said about her organization, which will use the money to complete a creative arts center, which is under construction and may have its grand opening in November. Promise competed for online votes with nonprofits from across the country. The organization is building affordable housing for up to 126 special needs tenants next to the Hammock Landing shopping plaza in West Melbourne. 

“We’re so fortunate to work for a big company like Gannett that has a foundation that puts programs like this together,” FLORIDA TODAY President and Publisher Jeff Kiel said Saturday when he announced the award to a group of Promise supporters.  “We’re thrilled that this can help.” 

Beyond helping special needs adults find a place to live, Farmer said Promise also is trying to provide work and social opportunities for them.

The Saturday announcement that Promise in Brevard has won a $100,000 grant for their Creative Arts Center. Jeff Kiel, president and publisher of FLORIDA TODAY addresses a packed room of families and supporters gathered at Melbourne Community Church,in the Metro West Plaza, which allows Promise in Brevard to use their facility for meetings. With him in front of the audience is co-founders Betsy Farmer and her son, Luke. Promise in Brevard will be a community for adults with special needs in West Melbourne.

Part of that plan is the Creative Art Center, which will be open to the public and provide art classes and art therapy. “Art breaks down social barriers,” she said.

As part of its submission for A Community Thrives, Promise put together a three-minute video on which Farmer talks about the art center concept, and Promise participants discussed how art helps them express themselves. The offerings and plans from Promise persuaded Joe Pivinski to relocate from Boca Raton to Brevard County to get his 31-year-old daughter involved. Amanda Pivinski has severe social and communication issues stemming from autism, he said. 

“She can never live alone, but she can have a life here,” Pivinski said.
Pivinski said Promise is the best program he and his wife, Lucille, could find for his daughter. He credits the supporters of the organization. 
“It’s the most incredible grass roots effort I’ve ever seen,” Pivinski said. 

See the full article and video in Florida Today here

Promise Art Center Wins $100,000

We won $100,000! Thank you to A Community Thrives, the USA Today Foundation, The Gannett Foundation and everyone who voted!

See the video!

Promise Progress

Betsy Farmer: 2015 Central Florida Humanitarian

Promise Cafe in Florida Today

WEST MELBOURNE — Betsy Farmer — and her team of administrators and volunteers — are full of promises.

With a groundbreaking on Saturday of the Promise in Brevard Bakery & Cafe, they’re continuing to show those promises aren’t empty but yet another way of assisting local special needs young adults, giving them the opportunity to learn valuable skills that will help them with employment — and life.

The 7,100-square-foot bakery and cafe is scheduled to open next July and will employ at least 10 “Promisers,” the term Farmer — co-founder of Promise Brevard — uses for the people she’s dedicated her life to assisting. The eatery will be in the West Melbourne Community Park, next to the Space Coast Field of Dreams, a sports complex for special-needs athletes. There’s also an apartment complex under construction near Hammock Landings shopping center, a living space on the Promise campus for special need residents.

All combined, Farmer and her supporters hope West Melbourne will serve as a model for the rest of the country.

“Absolutely, positively,” said Farmer, who started Promise in Brevard in 2005. “It’s a model for not only the state but also the country, that this is what happens when a community wraps its arms around its population.”

The cost of the cafe and bakery is $1.7 million. An undisclosed donor has promised a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $500,000 for the project, Farmer said.

While Farmer is excited about the pace of development, it’s hard to believe she is more anxious than Matthew Strobel, a 30-year-old Promiser who is legally blind and bakes cookies at Promise Treasures Thrift Shoppe in the Metro West Shopping Plaza, 3040 West New Haven Ave., West Melbourne.

Now known as “the cookie man,” Strobel plans to use more of his culinary skills and start making breads, pies and desserts at the new facility.

“It gives me a chance to branch out and try my hand out on other things,” Strobel said. “I don’t want to be making cookies all my life.”

See the full article in Florida Today

Einstein Foundation Donation to Promise

Promise Donation

Debi Malone with the Albert E. and Birdie W. Einstein Foundation presents $50,000 donation towards the Promise Cafe & Bakery.