James Cook Relief Fund

James A. Cook

James A. Cook

In 1993 the James Cook Memorial Humanitarian Relief Fund was established to provide financial support to FPS employees & Association members in need. James Cook, who retired in 1988, cared deeply for all members of the “FPS family” and served as a mentor to many.

This fund is a reflection of the Association’s purpose, as well as, the values of the individual it honors. Since its inception more than $103,000 has been distributed to individuals in need of financial assistance. Fundraisers such as raffles and auctions as well as donations have continued to provide funds to assist individuals and their families. The primary fundraiser for the Fund, the Arnold Kuenzler & Family Annual Auction, is held during the Annual Reunion.

Donations Welcomed

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the James Cook Relief Fund may do so by clicking the Donation Button in the right column or by mailing donations to: Ms. Kadie Hamner, FPSAA Treasurer, PO Box 1263, Old Town, FL 32680.

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. The toll-free number of the department is 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) – calling from within the state of Florida, or (850) 410-3800 – calling from outside of Florida. The department’s website is www.800helpfla.com.

Click here for the James Cook Fund Bylaws.

Recent Recipients

OPS Employee, Central Office: The employee underwent a major medical procedure to correct a life threatening problem.  The operation went well but the employee was out of work recovering for 6 weeks. The employee worked in BNCR for three years, then separated to complete her Master’s Degree work and then returned as an OPS employee.  OPS employees recovering at home do not earn a paycheck and the James Cook Memorial Humanitarian Relief Fund helped her get through.  

Maintenance Mechanic, Long Key State Park: The employee was diagnosed with cancer and was getting treatments in Key West which is the closest Oncologist in the Florida Keys.  The drive to and return is 140 miles roundtrip.  The treatment consists of numerous weeks of treatments.   The employee’s health was getting worse which created additional challenges along with extended treatments.

Park Ranger, Savannas Preserve State Park: Employee suffered a stroke and was airlifted to JFK hospital in Palm Beach and received brain surgery to remove the block, with success.  He was sedated and on ventilation, with unknown lasting effects of the stroke; however the doctors tell us there was significant damage. He has been an employee with the state for almost 6 years, as a POW veteran he has given more than we know and has dealt with those issues for many years. He now faces the potential loss of mobility and speech.

Retired Environmental Specialist, District Office:  A few months ago he suffered a stroke and has been slowly progressing through rehabilitation.  Speech therapy is not covered by insurance and A James Cook Fund award will help provide the needed speech therapy.

Park Ranger, Bahia Honda State Park: Employee lost her husband after a very long bout with cancer.  Medical bills and funeral expenses caused a financial hardship.

Park Ranger, Jonathan Dickenson State Park: Employee had to undergo an unscheduled and unexpected procedure (emergency Hysterectomy) for a tumor that was growing fast inside of her. She was out of work more than three weeks and is a single mother of two teenage children.

Retired FPS Employee, Central Office: Retired FPS employee was diagnosed with liver cancer resulting is frequent travel from Tallahassee to Shands in Gainesville for treatment.  Needed help with expenses for travel and lodging. The cancer can’t be treated with chemo or radiation.

Park Ranger, Fort Clinch State Park: Employee has an as of yet undiagnosed illness that is making it very difficult for him to work and is causing him to miss many days due to illness and diagnostic tests that are still trying to pinpoint his ailment.  In addition his wife is recovering from major surgery and has been unemployed for some time. The employee is a quality individual and is quite dejected at this time with mounting medical bills and very heavy financial pressures trying to raise two kids and support his wife on park ranger pay. He has been with the FPS since April of 2000, having worked first at Talbot and at Ft. Clinch since 2001.

 

Recent Thank You Notes

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Dear FPSAA, 

Please accept heart-felt thanks from me and my family for the relief check from the James Cook Humanitarian Relief Fund.  We are still astonished and greatly moved by the generosity. This has been a particularly tough time for us with my health issues.  Multiple hospital stays, a major surgery, and limited physical ability have created a number of strains for us.  Associated medical, childcare and hotel bills, coupled with missing work during my recent surgery, have caused financial hardship that this monetary gift will help alleviate. Thank you for your support and for being part of the FPS family.  Please extend our gratitude to all involved in this matter. 

Sincerely 

Triel

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Dear FPSAA,

I cannot ever thank you enough for the support the Alumni Association is providing Triel.  I’ve been one of those employees who just never got around to joining but that will now change.  I’ve been touched and I know Triel will be as well.  The family feel of working in the park service is one of the aspects that has kept me here over the years.  The support of the Alumni Association rings that home.  

Thank you again and Merry Christmas

Parks 

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Dear Alumni Association, 

I wish to thank everyone for the generous award you have given to me and my family.  It has been a traumatic time losing my husband and of course retiring at the same time.  Many people have been so very kind in this most difficult time in my life.  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to service. 

Thank you, 

Judith

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Dear FPSAA,

I am writing this letter to tell you how grateful I am to have received the $1000 award you sent me last week to assist me with the hard times I have had in this past year.  I do not know what I can do to show you my great appreciation except to say thank you.  I have been with the Florida Park Service family for 12 years and consider them as my second family and I had no idea that this was possible.

Thank you very much

Marybeth

 

JAMES COOK MEMORIAL HUMANITARIAN RELIEF FUND

LIFETIME DISBURSEMENTS

Date Park Name Cause Amount
May 1, 1993 Long Key Medical $500
May 1, 1993 Homosassa Springs Flood $500
January 1, 1994 O’Leno House Fire $250
January 1, 1995 Delnor-Wiggins Pass Medical $500
April 1, 1995 Div. of Rec. & Parks Medical $500
May 1, 1995 Oscar Scherer House Fire $500
August 1, 1995 Fort Clinch Medical $500
October 1, 1995 Honeymoon Island Medical $500
October 1, 1995 Grayton Beach Hurricane $500
October 1, 1995 St. Joseph Hurricane $500
October 1, 1995 St. Joseph Hurricane $500
October 1, 1995 District 1 Administration Hurricane $500
Nov. 1, 1995 St. George Island Hurricane $100
March 1, 1996 District 1 Administration Medical $500
April 1, 1996 Long Key Medical $500
May 1, 1996 Florida Caverns Medical $500
Dec. 1, 1996 Div. of Rec. & Parks Medical $500
March 1, 1997 Fakahatchee Strand Death $500
May 1, 1997 Florida Caverns House Fire $500
July 1, 1997 Maclay Gardens Medical $500
Nov. 1, 1998 Bahia Honda Hurricane $500
Nov. 1, 1998 Bahia Honda Hurricane $500
Nov. 1, 1998 Bahia Honda Hurricane $500
Nov. 1, 1998 John Pennekamp Hurricane $500
Nov. 1, 1998 District 4 Administration Medical $500
January 1, 1999 Manatee Springs Medical $500
January 1, 1999 Blue Spring Medical $500
February 1, 1999 Wakulla Springs Medical $500
July 1, 1999 Washington Oaks Death $500
October 1, 1999 Lignumvitae Key Hurricane $500
Nov. 1, 1999 Lignumvitae Key Medical $500
February 1, 2000 Wiggins Pass Medical $500
March 1, 2000 Stephen Foster Medical $500
June 1, 2012 Blue Spring Death $500
August 1, 2012 Oscar Scherer Medical $750
March 2, 2012 Wakulla Springs Medical $1,000
June 2, 2012 MacArthur Beach Property Loss $1,000
August 2, 2012 Washington Oaks Medical $1,000
June 3, 2012 Retired Spouse Medical $1,000
July 3, 2012 Florida Caverns Death $1,000
Nov. 3, 2012 Office of Park Planning Medical $1,000
April 4, 2012 Bahia Honda Medical $1,000
May 4, 2012 Retired Medical $1,000
August 4, 2012 Anastasia Medical $1,000
August 4, 2012 Affiliate Member Medical $1,000
August 4, 2012 Wiggins Pass Hurricane $1,000
August 4, 2012 Charlotte Harbor Hurricane $1,000
August 4, 2012 Charlotte Harbor Hurricane $300
August 4, 2012 Koreshan Hurricane $300
August 4, 2012 Gasparilla Island Hurricane $500
August 4, 2012 Myakka River Hurricane $750
August 4, 2012 Charlotte Harbor Hurricane $1,000
Sep. 4, 2012 Wakulla Springs Hurricane $1,000
Sep. 4, 2012 Koreshan Hurricane $1,000
Sep. 4, 2012 District 4 Administration Hurricane $1,000
Sep. 4, 2012 Navarre Beach Hurricane $1,000
Sep. 4, 2012 Sebastian Inlet Hurricane $1,000
Sep. 4, 2012 Sebastian Inlet Hurricane $750
October 4, 2012 Wakulla Springs Hurricane $300
October 4, 2012 Jonathan Dickinson Hurricane $500
October 4, 2012 Navarre Beach Hurricane $1,000
October 4, 2012 Big Lagoon Hurricane $300
October 4, 2012 Big Lagoon Hurricane $1,000
October 4, 2012 Koreshan Hurricane $1,000
October 4, 2012 Tosohatchee Hurricane $1,000
October 4, 2012 Tosohatchee Hurricane $500
October 4, 2012 Myakka River Hurricane $1,000
October 4, 2012 Myakka River Hurricane $1,000
Sep. 5, 2012 Retired Medical $1,000
October 5, 2012 Wakulla Springs Hurricane $500
October 5, 2012 St. George Island Hurricane $500
Nov. 5, 2012 Topsail Hill Hurricane $1,000
Dec. 5, 2012 Ravine Gardens Hurricane $1,000
February 6, 2012 Myakka River Medical $1,000
Dec. 6, 2012 Rainbow Springs Medical $1,000
Sep. 7, 2012 Rocky Bayou Death $1,000
Sep. 7, 2012 Lake Kissimmee Medical $1,000
February 8, 2012 John Pennekamp Death $1,000
Sep. 8, 2012 Paynes Prairie Death $1,000
October 8, 2012 Jonathan Dickinson Medical $1,000
Dec. 8, 2012 Wakulla Springs House Fire $1,000
January 9, 2012 Bahia Honda Medical $1,000
January 9, 2012 St. George Medical-Death $1,000
May 9, 2012 Retired Medical $1,000
Oct. 9, 2012 Wekiwa Death $1,000
Dec. 9, 2012 Long Key Medical-Death $1,000
April 10, 2012 Jonathan Dickinson Medical $1,000
May 10, 2012 Long Key Medical $1,000
August 10, 2012 Retired Medical $1,000
December 10, 2012 Oscar Scherer Medical $1,000
May 11, 2012 Tomoka Death $1,000
June 11, 2012 District 3 Death $1,000
Sep. 11, 2012 Bill Baggs Medical $1,000
Sep. 11, 2012 Gold Head Medical $1,000
Sep. 11, 2012 Jonathan Dickinson Medical $1,000
October 11, 2012 Fort Clinch Medical $1,000
October 11, 2012 Retired Death $1,000
Dec. 11, 2012 Div. of Rec. & Parks Medical $1,000
January 12, 2012 Fort Pierce Medical $1,000
January 12, 2012 Retired Medical $1,000
April 12, 2012 Jonathan Dickinson Medical $1,000
April 12, 2012 Bahia Honda Hardship $1,000
June 12, 2012 Retired Medical $1,000
July 12, 2012 Savannas Medical $1,000
July 12, 2013 District 4 Administration medical $1,000
Nov. 12, 2013 Long Key Medical $1,000
January 13, 2013 Wekiwa Medical $1,000
January 13, 2013 Wekiwa Medical $1,000
January 13, 2013 Camp Helen Medical $500
March 13, 2013 Retired Medical/Death $1,000
March 13, 2013 Retired Medical $1,000
March 13, 2013 Myakka River Medical $750
May 1, 2013 Wakulla Springs Medical $1,000
July 1, 2013 Long Key Medical $1,000
Sep. 1, 2013 Weeki Wachee Medical $1,000
Nov. 1, 2013 Silver Springs Medical $750
May 1, 2014 Black Lagoon Medical $1,000
June 1, 2014 Sebastian Medical $1,000
July 1, 2014 District 1 Medical $1,000
Sep. 1, 2014 Stephen Foster Medical $1,000
Nov. 1, 2014 Key Largo Medical $1,000
Nov. 1, 2014 Sebastian Inlet Medical $1,000
March 1, 2015 Savannas Medical $1,000
March 1, 2015 Wakulla Springs Medical $1,000
June 1, 2015 District 1 Park Medical $500
Dec. 1, 2015 Oleta River Hardship $650
June 1, 2016 District 5 Medical $1,000
Nov. 1, 2016 Anastasia Medical $1,000
Dec. 1, 2016 Retired Medical $1,000
Total Disbursements from Fund Inception $103,450