Mount Dora Expansion
On July 4, 2012, Rozann Abato was inspired when the Fox News Channel aired a report about an organization in the Washington, DC area. The organization, Patriot Cruise and Salute, Inc. (PCS), treated wounded veterans and their families to an outing on the Potomac River followed by a picnic lunch and patriotic program. It was a way to say “thank you” for their service and sacrifice.
Rozann mentioned it to her husband, Carroll Jaskulski, and they contacted Ed Mason, PCS co-founder. They knew that Lake County is blessed with patriotic Americans to support a Patriot Cruise and Salute event. They were not wrong!!
Their friends, acquaintances, businesses and the City of Mount Dora leadership worked with Carroll and Rozann to ensure that everything they needed was made available. The 1st Annual Mount Dora Patriot Cruise and Salute was held on Veteran’s Day 2012. When Mayor Bob Thielhelm asked them to make it an annual event, the answer was a resounding YES. Abato, Jaskulski and countless volunteers said it was the most rewarding day of their lives.
In 2017, the 6th Mount Dora Patriot Cruise and Salute was held on Sunday, November 12. Twenty seven veterans were honored. The oldest was a 100 year old WWII veteran. The 7th Mount Dora Patriot Cruise and Salute event was held on November 11, 2018. Thirty-four veterans were honored on Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.
The 8th event was held on Sunday, November 10. Thirty-three veterans were honored. Beginning in 2020, the lead for the Mount Dora Patriot Cruise and Salute event will transfer to seasoned volunteers who will continue the tradition. Rozann and Carroll will remain as hands-on participants. Our mission remains the same . . . honor veterans who have served and sacrificed, many of whom are wounded, ill or injured.
This organization could not continue without the support of the City of Mount Dora and the companies and individuals that give selflessly of their finances, time and talents. The words “thank you” cannot begin to express our gratitude for all that is done and given to make this event possible each year.
We are blessed with having more volunteers and more funding than 7 years ago. This has allowed us to grow each year and honor more veterans for their service and sacrifice. We continue to look to the future and explore options for keeping our event fresh and relevant.