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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Funk - Zitiello Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health

Mission: To help those with seemingly impossible situations change them for good.

Target demographics: find an early detection method for pancreas cancer and assistance for the disabled

Direct beneficiaries per year: we funded three important research projects and helped over 30 disabled families

Geographic areas served: North Florida

Programs: funding for promising research projects and providing adaptive equipment and financial assistance

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Over the past several years, I have attended many of charity events including events for both the Funk - Zitiello and JT Townsend Foundations. I've also known Tommy and Judi Zitiello for many years. These are the most compassionate and selfless people I have ever met. The Funk - Zitiello Foundation has helped hundreds of families living with disabilities, and after Judi was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer, she made it her mission to be the voice and champion for all those suffering from this deadly cancer. There are a lot of good charities out there, but this is a GREAT one! PLEASE SUPPORT THE FUNK - ZITIELLO FOUNDATION!!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the very first time Fred and Tommy had a thought - what if we ask for a small donation from our friends who come and hang out in our back yard during TPC? We could raise money to help JT Townsend and those in our community who are in need.
From that first time we made our decision to be a part of this wonderful group of family and friends who help others in every possible way. We are amazed at how much this thought has grown. Even when our dear friend Judi was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer they did not give up or slow down. They fought harder and came up with more ways to help others. Each and every year they have grown in strength and helping hands to raise money to help others. We are truly blessed and honored to be a small part of these efforts and will continue to help in every way to win the fight and raise awareness and grow the efforts of the Funk-Zietiello Foundation and Champions for Hope in the memory of JT and our dear friend Judi who continues to win the fight!

kellybax

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This charity works endlessly to provide equipment, services and support for those in NE Florida through the memory of JT Townsend and the perseverance of Judi Zitiello. The family has given their all, and then some, to benefit all associated with the charity. I wouldn't hesitate to give to this foundation - knowing that the the leadership is made up of tireless volunteers.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This foundation is all heart and they work tirelessly for those that benefit from these charities. They have very little in the way of overhead spending because of so many committed volunteers. It is a favorite and well worth supporting.

Donor

Rating: 5

Thank you Tom and Judi for the incredible work you are doing through the Funk - Zitiello foundation. For anyone who wants to make sure their donations are going to the right place, you couldn’t pick a better organization. They help people in need of adaptive equipment as well as helping expose the deficiencies in research for the horrible disease - pancreatic cancer. If you want to talk to a an a amazing survivor, you just need to contact the founder Judi Zitiello. Thank you again for what you do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to be associated with this charity. They are changing the lives of others through their support of pancreatic cancer research and the support of the disabled community. The fundraising events they hold showcase their dedication to their mission to give back .

Board Member

Rating: 5

This Foundation is helping fund Pancreatic cancer research & helping people on the first coast with lifelong disabilities. The work that they do is Inspiring & life changing !!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Champions For Home is an amazing organization. They are all filled with so much heart and I cannot wait to see how the next event turns out.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just a miracle, From Jesus who gives us Hope, Keep up the great work ,Carmen I love you;)

Donor

Rating: 5

The Funk - Zitiello Foundation is the real deal. They care not only about finding a cure for pancreas cancer but for those that have disabilities that need adaptive equipment. This just scratches the surface of the brains behind the organization. Judi and Tom Zitiello have the hear to help all people. They are two of the most generous people you will ever meet. Getting involved with the Funk - Zitiello foundation would be a blessing to all who join their mission.

1 Constance Marie P.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Funk-Zitiello Foundation embodies the spirit and commitment of its founders, raising awareness and bringing hope to those affected by physical disabilities and pancreatic cancer. My husband, Mike, and I are blessed to have met the two people who inspired the Foundation.

We were introduced to JT Townsend on December 3, 2005, when he was in the Children’s Fashion Show to benefit Wolfson Children’s Hospital. JT was a light for others, making a difference, despite his recent high school football accident, which had left him paralyzed.

In November of 2014, we googled Dr. Horacio Asbun, in regard to surgery at Mayo Clinic; Judi Zitiello’s face popped up with Dr. Asbun in a photo from the 2014 PurpleStride. She was holding a baby, which we now know is her grandson and namesake, Jude. Judi had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in April 2014; Dr. Asbun was her surgeon.

I reached out to Judi on January 7, 2015, via Facebook Messenger, after having read her wonderful blogs and messages online. “I would be honored to have the opportunity to speak with you.” It was and remains an honor to speak with Judi. She became my earthly guardian angel and friend through many phone calls, emails and finally meeting in person at the 2015 PurpleStride—a friendship and bond that continues today.

On March 3, 2016, Judi sent me an email outlining her “Big Project”, which we now know as “Champions for Hope”. It was, indeed! Mike and I attended and supported the galas held Father’s Day weekend in 2017 and 2018. “Champions for Hope” brought awareness and funding to the JT Townsend Foundation and for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic Florida, right here in Jacksonville. If you were fortunate enough to attend a luncheon, a meeting, or the gala for the event, you were witness to love and strength—beyond measure, to support these causes.

Connie Phillips

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Oh my goodness, to say this non-profit and Judi Z are beyond words is an understatement. The impact this non-profit has had in 2 years in so incredible it brings tears to my eyes. Judi is an inspiration to us all and I am just so grateful to be a part of it. Rock on Judi!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In my experience this organization truly exists to serve its end user. Every action and decision is made with the mindset of "how does this help". When you exist to serve you will always succeed!

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Funk-Zitiello Foundation was established just two years ago and in that time, the foundation has established itself as an outstanding organization that has been able to raise over a Million dollars in funds to support critical Pancreatic Cancer research efforts via Mayo Clinic and to provide equipment and financial assistance to improve the quality of life for those living with disabilities. I have had the privilege to work alongside the Funk-Zitiello Foundation's Managing Director, Judi Zitiello who has helped to lead the organization to truly change lives in our community. The Champions for Hope Golf Tournament, Gala and other related events are top-notch and run efficiently, professionally and are some of the most engaging events I have ever been associated with. The Funk-Zitiello team has a heart and passion for giving to others and I encourage others to join the volunteer team.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Funk-Zitiello Foundation has hosted extremely effective, professional and emotionally moving events. The fundraiser Champions for Hope Gala and gold outing were effective in raising needed funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer research. These events plus the collaborative work with Mayo Clinic, as showcased in an impressive luncheon presentation, make this Foundation exceptional

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a physician dedicated to the care of patients with Pancreatic Cancer, I have seen this organization display unbelievable passion and dedication to the cause! The bring 1000% to everything they do, all in the name of curing this devistating disease.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with many charity foundations and this is the best I have worked with. They raised more than $500,000 in 2 years from scratch to support pancreatic cancer research for early detection. The foundation donates 100% of proceeds to research (they even cover many expenses out of pocket to ensure that all donations go to research).

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently met Judi Z and the Zitiello family at their annual fundraiser, Champions of Hope. The passion and gratitude within the room was not only palpable it was invigorating. The Funk-Zitiello Foundation will move mountains and change people's lives. I am proud to be a donor and partner in their endeavor - to cure pancreatic cancer and help others with differing abilities.