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Shane Reid, P.E. of Reid Engineering works with Doris Buffett and the Sunshine Lady Foundation

Back in 2008 just after the Next Generaton of Business Leaders had been formed in Fredericksburg, VA through the Chamber of Commerce several members led by Shane Reid, P.E. engaged local philanthropist Doris Buffet of the Sunshine Lady Foundation to get her ideas, thoughts, wisdom and input on philanthropy in general as one of the groups missions was community outreach.

Ms. Buffett agreed to meet with a few of the NGBL leaders including Shane over lunch and shared her wonderful story of how she helps those who want to help themselves. At that first meeting the group reached out to Ms. Buffett and the Sunshine Lady Foundation by offering to assist in any of their local projects. It wasn’t too long after that offer that Ms. Buffett met with Shane to discuss a very special project that was dear to her heart.

Courtney Dole niece of local businessman Darren Dole personally reached out to Ms. Buffet by writing a heart grabbing letter that truly inspired Ms. Buffett to help Courtney. Courtney at the age of 15 suffered a devastating injury form the accidental discharge of a firearm. The gunfire entered into her neck shattering her vertebra and severing her spinal cord. Since that unfortunate day Courtney has been a quadriplegic, dependent upon others and a wheelchair for mobility. Her story is not one of sorrow and loss but of perseverance in the face adversity. Courtney is a brave, courageous young woman who has the drive and determination to not only survive but to move forward in a positive light and achieving what others would say is impossible. After graduating high school years ago she became determined to attend and graduate college. Her goal is to go to Germana and then to the University of Mary Washington here Fredericksburg. In order to achieve her college goals she needed to move in with her Aunt and Uncle who live in Spotsylvania County.

With the commitment of the NGBL group backed by awe inspiring Doris Buffett and the Sunshine Lady Foundation the group set out to raise as much money as possible in hopes of funding the construction of a handicap accessible addition to the Dole’s home. The funds raised by the NGBL would be matched by Doris Buffett through the Sunshine Lady Foundation. For over a year the NGBLers collected donations at various events and held a successful fundraiser in downtown Fredericksburg, VA that raised over $10,000 dollars. The Fundraiser was the catalyst for the project that created energy, motivation and momentum.

Finally, in 2011 after several design iterations and cost estimates through Ms. Buffett’s gracious giving the project was given full funding by the Sunshine Lady Foundation. Shane Reid of Reid Engineering donated his time and company resources by providing overall project management and house addition designs. He also worked closely Doris, the Dole Family and the contractor. He guided the project from inception to construction completion.

Today, Courtney’s dream of moving to Fredericksburg, VA, living with her aunt and uncle and attending Germana Community College has become a reality. The needs specific addition has added to her quality of life and will motivate her to graduating in the near future. Many thanks go out to Doris Buffett, Sunshine Lady Foundation, Next Generation of Business Leaders, Reid Engineering, Van Zandt Restorations, and the Fredericksburg Community.