Tuesday, November 24, 2015


WE ARE SO THANKFUL TO HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE TO THANK!! This is a portion of the thank you notes & donation gift packages that we've been working on for the past 5 days. It takes a village to raise up a ministry, and we want to thank each and everyone of "our villagers" so much. God bless you all!

(PS: I've got to say that I'm so proud of how hard Laurie has worked on the actual banquet and now the thank you mailout. Absolutely impressive!)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Table Sponosor #12

GTD wants to thank Eric Branson and family for their table sponsorship at our annual fundraising event this past week! Your contribution helped make a big impact. Thank you!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thank You Notes...

WE HAVE SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR!! No better way to spend an evening (or two!) than expressing our thankfulness to our supporters. We love you guys!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


It is with a humble heart overflowing with thanksgiving that I have the honor to announce that God rocked our world with a record setting amount of funds raised from our Annual Banquet to the tune of $50,000!!!!! ($22k thru one-time donations and $28k pledged over the next year). We are blown away! Touched! But Mostly Speechless! Words seem so inadequate to accurately express the joy, love, and appreciation that we feel right now. All I can truly say is Praise Jesus!! This will go a long way to impacting lives and improving our programs as we enter our 20th year of ministry. Five years ago The Great Recession crippled our ministry. We've always made huge sacrifices in order to operate GTD, but the last 5 years have been grueling. But just like our name implies, we've NEVER GIVEN UP fighting, scratching, and clawing our way through our bleakest years to get back to a place of stability. This won't quite get us to that place of stability, but it will bring it within reach. We believe that God is opening a new season of opportunity for GTD. A season in which struggle is no longer the main theme of our existence. A season in which we can spend less time treading water and more time ministering to the needs of the next generation. We're not quite there yet, but by all indications we are one God-sized step closer. And the great news is that we still have 6 more weeks remaining in our fundraising season to add to the total so that we can hit the ground running in our 20th year. We want to profoundly thank everyone who believed in us, supported us, and saw the value in this ministry and the impact that God has been making through GTD over the past 19 years. We thank God for each and everyone of you. You share in this harvest time because you sacrificed during the planting & tilling time. From the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! We are already back to work preparing for a God-awesome 2016. And we couldn't be happier! Again, thank you to everyone who made our Annual Banquet such a great success - the speakers, the attendees, the table sponsors, the venue, the caterers, the donors, the volunteers, the GTD staff - thank you, thank you, thank you!


Back To Work!

Cleaning up from the banquet!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What A Night!!

We had an OUTSTANDING night last night with over 200 of the most thoughtful, loving, and generous people on the planet as we celebrated 19 years of ministry. The representation for Jesus and the level of encouragement was second to none. We are touched and blown away if anyone would ever spend one minute or invest one dollar in our lives or the life of this ministry. We are humbled, thankful, and unworthy of the gracious words that were spoken on behalf of us & GTD. We are full of gratitude for the amazing volunteers, the wonderful attendees, the phenomenal speakers, and the magnanimous donors that made last night a God-awesome cherished event that will never be forgotten. There are some nights that you just don't want to end. Last night was one of those nights. Thank you to everyone who helped make it so special! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much! We will announce the final results of the total amount raised later today. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


HUGE NEWS!!!! We have 2 generous donors who have thrown down a Matching Gift Challenge for TODAY!!

One of them will match dollar-for-dollar every one-time donation to GTD up to $6000!!

The second will match dollar-for-dollar every dollar pledged per month to GTD up to $500 for the next 12 months ($500 x 12 mths = $6000)!!

That means that every dollar you donate becomes 2 dollars... $10 becomes $20... $50 becomes $100... $1000 becomes $2000... $6000 becomes $12,000!!!

If you pledge $25/mth to GTD for the next 12 months they will also pledge $25/mth for the next 12 months. Your $25 monthly pledge becomes $50 monthly pledges. If you pledge $100 they will match it and pledge $100... all the way up to $500 cumulatively.


This offer is for TODAY and will end tonight shortly after our Annual Banquet concludes. We need your help in order to meet this challenge. Will you consider making a one-time donation or monthly pledge to GTD (or both!) today??? This is a great way to double your impact in a ministry that God is using to impact lives!

To make a one-time donation and/or a monthly pledge to GTD click on the links below (or email us or message me the amount you are mailing in or pledging).


One-Time Donations click here  |  Monthly Pledges click here  |  Email OR Contact Us here



Monday, November 16, 2015

One Brick At A Time!!

Rebuilding The Walls of GTD continues on!! Our work continues on as we prepare for the next 20 years of ministry. We are looking forward to sharing all the updates, developments, and future vision with our awesome attendees at GTD's Annual Banquet tomorrow night!!


With 1 day remaining until our biggest event of the year (our Annual Banquet) we have over 215 RSVPs (and counting). That's a new record!!! We are elated, thrilled, humbled, floored, blown away... In fact, we keep running out of adjectives to describe our profound affection for anyone & everyone who would take time out of their busy schedule on a weeknight and get all dressed up to come be a part of our special night. We thank God for each of you and we give God all the glory as we know He is the source. God is up to somethings BIG! It's an exciting time yo be a part of GTD! #THRiVE

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Table Sponsor #11

Thank you so much to our friends Lindsay McCormick and Dennis Mccormick for their partnership in ministry over the years.  The two of you have been such a great blessing and we appreciate your involvement with GTD. We love you guys!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Banquet Speakers Unveiled

BANQUET GUEST SPEAKERS! We are so honored to have the following phenomenal people speaking on behalf of GTD this Tuesday night:

Pathways' Pastor - Dustin LaChance​
Landry Academy Administrator - Jen Brown Henriksen​
Pathways' Pastor & Dynamic Duo - Jeff​ & Charlene Iskra​
and 12-Year-Old GTD Jr Adventure Volunteer - Garrett Kline

Our profound thanks to these wonderful people for sharing how God used GTD to impact their lives and the lives of their groups. We can't wait!


Don't miss out on all the fun & inspiration! Only 13 seats remain!! We have 8 free tickets available through a very generous table sponsor.

RSVP here  |  Banquet Details here

Table Sponsor #10

Thank you to our long time friends and Ministry Supporters JC and Janessa Jannarone​ for their Table Sponsorship.  To know you both were part of the early years of GTD and still have such a love and belief towards this ministry touches our hearts!  Thank you for your friendship and support.  We love you guys!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Casual Friday?

Office shenanigans with our cheap T-shirt torso displays!

We Feel Your Love

To our dear friends and ministry supporters, we can't even put into words how blessed we are feeling these last few days.  We've run out of adjectives to describe our gratefulness for your generosity and support leading into the banquet.  We are jaw dropped with each table sponsorship, every person who R.S.V.P.s and signs up as a Monthly Ministry Partner or makes a one time donation!  We feel your love and are so thankful for your belief in this ministry.  Thank you...and we still have 4 more days to go! 

Chasing 200!

200! 200! 200! We've come close, but we have never broken into the 200 level of attendees at our Annual Banquet. With only 4 days remaining we are within 30 RSVPs of breaking our attendance record and crossing over into the land of 200's. The momentum is there. Everyday another cluster of people sign up to come. It has been all God! Our "Save The Dates" were emailed out only 18 days ago. We didn't mail out invitations and opted just to email and Facebook our invites. But the response has been overwhelming in every positive sense of the word. There are times in life when you can clearly see the hand of God strongly supporting you. This is one of those times. So we want to let you know that we have a few seats left at our Annual Banquet and we would love for you to be there. It's always a fun, delicious, and inspiring night! Click on the link below for details and to RSVP. We have another 16 free tickets provided for by our wonderful table sponsors! Come be a part of something God sized!

"For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." - 2 Chronicles 16:9

Banquet Link: 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Table Sponsor #7

The Kiwanis Club of Pinellas Park has sponsored a table for GTD's Annual Banquet!  We are so honored to have an organization like them to help make our banquet a great success!  Thank you for your commitment to making this world and community a better place....one child at a time! http://pinellasparkkiwanis.org/

A Team Effort

This made my day today when I stopped by the Wilt's home to drop off my dress for the banquet to have it taken in.  Bill and Sharon are two of GTD's Ministry Partners who have been part of the ministry longer than I have!  Bill really loved seeing the GTD truck we drive and so I suggested he jump on in and get a feel for it!  They both just loved it!  He sat in the seat, kicked the tires, looked under the hood and checked out all it's bells and whistles.  To me, it was so cool to share it with them and the story on how the truck was donated to our ministry after both of our vehicles had broken down about 5 years ago.  Can you imagine, a truck....picked out and donated to your ministry???  Seriously, how blessed were we to have received such a priceless gift considering we are a mobile ministry and without a vehicle there would be no GTD!  This truck is one of our most important pieces of equipment needed to run the ministry and we are so grateful to the incredible couple who saw a need and had it met.  We are beyond humbled to receive such a gift.  Thank you to the Wilts for allowing me to share the story of this blessing with you today and for your great enthusiasm.  Also, thank you to our amazing friends who have helped make the last 5 years of ministry possible by donating the truck!  This ministry truly is a team effort with those who have partnered with us through the years!

Check Out Our New Stuff!

GTD Infusion Bottles, Water Bottles, Coffee Mugs, Wristbands, Reusable Bags... Our participants, supporters, and ministry partners have been asking for these things for a long time. Now we've got them!

Come to the GTD Annual Banquet and see how you can get your hands on some of these!

Seats are quickly filling up! Reserve your spot today!

Banquet link: 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Table Sponsor #3 & 4

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you PHP (People Helping of Pinellas Park) for your double table sponsorship for GTD's Annual Fundraiser Banquet. We appreciate all that you do to serve the community and your continued support of GTD.

Father & Son Retreat Pictures Uploaded

With a Pastor this fun, you know the church has to be awesome!! Check out all the pictures from our Father & Son Retreat last weekend with Tampa Covenant Church​. Click here to see all the pictures.

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day to my Dad, Jerry Garner, who faithfully served his country in the Air Force for 20 years. He was stationed all over the world from the North Pole to the South Pole including stints in TX, SC, GA, Greenland, New Zealand, FL, Vietnam, MS, and Iran. He served overseas in one war as well as participated in a variety of operations, including one code named: "Operation Deep Freeze". During his time in the military he met 2 Presidents, served as an Enlisted Aide to several Generals and received a Bronze Star, the Commendation Medal, and numerous awards. He is a hero to me and the definition of a good soldier. To my Dad and all Veterans who have answered the call of duty and willingly disrupted their lives to serve and sacrifice for the common good of our country, we salute you! God bless you all =)


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hard At Work

Hard at work getting ready for our biggest & most important event each year - The Annual GTD Banquet!! 1 week to go! It's going to be a GREAT banquet!

Table Sponsor #8

Thank you to Dana & Martha Ward, owners of Real Estate Closing Solutions for being a major donor & table sponsor for GTD's Annual Fundraiser Banquet this year!  From the bottom of our hearts, we deeply appreciate your strong support and belief in what we do. Your kindness, encouragement and generosity year after year has made a significant impact in our ministry.  Thank you so much for investing in GTD!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Table Sponsor #2

Thank you to our #2 Table Sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous!  This is a person who has blessed GTD in many ways year after year and who has participated in some really great events with us like Swamp Thang and our Costa Rica Missions project!  We are so grateful for your friendship and heart for this ministry!  Thank you very much!

Ministry is a Team Sport!

I'm so thankful for these hard working volunteers that helped make this past weekend's Father / Son Retreat so great!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Table Sponsor #3 & 4

Thank you to Ann & Jerry Garner for sponsoring 2 tables for GTD's Annual Fundraiser Banquet!  Margaret Ann​ and Jerry are Doug's parents who are two of GTD's biggest supporters.  For all they do and continue to do to support us and this ministry the words thank you do not seem to be enough and yet all we can do is say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts, we love you both!  ///  If you'd like to sponsor a table for our 2015 Annual Fundraiser Banquet or would like to make a donation to GTD to help support the work we do, you can do so on the GTD BULLHORN BANQUET LINK.

Going Up!

Awesome time at the Father / Son Retreat with Tampa Covenant Church!!! LOVE THESE GUYS!!!

Table Sponsor #1

Thank you to the Henriksen Family for being our first Table Sponsor of 2015!   We are so thankful for your friendship and partnership in ministry.  Just think, this time last year, we didn't even know one another, but God had a beautiful plan to bring us together for bigger things!  We love you guys!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Retreat Bound!!

GTD is hosting a Father / Son Retreat in Hudson for the awesomely great Tampa Covenant Church. Thanks for the prayer support gang :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Howdy Ya'll

This is our version of staff country western dress day at GTD ��

Devouring The Word

BEST BREAKFAST EVER!! God's Word nourishes the mind, body, heart, and soul. Have a delicious morning friends :)


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Father/Son Retreat This Weekend

We're so excited about our Father/Son Retreat with Tampa Covenant Church this weekend!! I love seeing dads intentionally pouring the love of God into their sons! Pray for a powerful impact =)

Move Your Mountains!

Men of small attempts live forgettable lives. 

Pursue such big endeavors that require the very presence of God in order to succeed.

Move your mountains! 



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

True Humility

True humility is the realization that we can't do anything apart from Jesus. The created are dependent upon The Creator. It's somewhat like a corded lamp that can't shine apart from being plugged into a power source. The lamp can exist apart from the power source, but it can't shine or ever reach the potential it was designed for. When we embrace the reality of our need for God and our actual dependence upon God then everything changes. It drives every decision we make. And it especially drives our prayer life. Prayer is the cord on the lamp, but humility is what moves the cord to plug into the power source. When we realize our dependency upon our Creator then we realize our need to plug into Him. At that point we start transforming from survivors to thrivers! Our lights begin to shine brighter & brighter. And we begin to live out our designed potential. It's a beautiful thing! We were designed to bear much fruit. We were designed to flourish. We were designed to thrive! But it all starts with humility. #THRiVE

Monday, November 2, 2015


YOU'VE BEEN ASKING FOR THEM FOR A LONG TIME, NOW WE'RE GETTING THEM! Here's a glimpse of one of the new GTD T-Shirts that are in the works for our upcoming Annual Banquet.

They reflect the newer locations we are travelling to as well as our brand new THRiVE campaign that kicks off at our Annual Banquet on Nov 17th!!

GTD continues to grow each year! (Praise Jesus!) We've got a lot of exciting news, swag, and events to unveil Tuesday night Nov 17th at the Largo Cultural Center. PLAN TO JOIN US FOR AN AMAZING NIGHT!

Click here for details.


Friday, October 30, 2015


TABLE SPONSOR ALERT!! We are excited to share that we have our first 2 Table Sponsors for our 2015 Annual Banquet!!

Table 1) Our profound thanks to a Tampa based attorney firm that likes to keep their donations anonymous for being our first Platinum Level Table Sponsor!! We deeply appreciate your belief in and generous support of GTD!! God bless you!

Table 2) And our profound thanks to Landry Academy for being our first Silver Level Table Sponsor!! We deeply appreciate your belief in and generous support of GTD!! God bless you!

We are always blown away by people's kindness and support! 25% of our annual budget comes through donations. It's a deep honor to be a part of a ministry that receives thoughtful & sacrificial expressions of support through contributions towards our mission and cause. We are always humbled, touched, and blown away to receive even one penny. It causes us to praise God and greatly rejoice =)

If you would like to help support the cause by sponsoring a table or making a one-time donation or becoming a monthly partner then click on this link. Thank you so much!!!


Delicious Breakfast & Great Hair Day :)

Breakfast this morning with our dear friend and ministry partner - Jason Doyle. Love, respect, and appreciate this guy! (How am surrounded by such good looking people with awesome hair!?!? LOL!)  :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's baaaaaaaack!!

The backpacking trip your mamma warned you about is back!

Swamp Thing Everglades Backpacking Trip returns Dec 19-20, 2015

Details coming next week!


One Giant Leap! (Utah 2016)

One small jump for Doug; one giant leap for GTD! Utah 2016... Our newest group destiNATION!! 

Find out more at our Annual Banquet on Nov 17th :)

Panoramic Fun (Finding Myself)

This is a photo I call, "I WENT TO UTAH TO FIND MYSELF" - LOL!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Friendship Factor

As part of our weekly Staff Meeting we are going through a book called, "The Friendship Factor". I've always seen friendships as my calling in ministry. While some may think of GTD as an activity ministry, I've always seen it as a friendship ministry full of people who share Christ centered adventures together. God created us for relationships and community. One of the greatest honors in life is to have trusted friends that don't allow you to feel comfortable in apathy and compromise, but rather spur you on towards closeness to God. Friendships are vitally important! The reality is that true ministry is centered around relationships. In fact, at the heart of our relationship with God is friendship. In my favorite verse in the Bible (John 15:15) Jesus said, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends..." Wow, that blows me away! We have the opportunity to be considered a friend of the living God! Friendship is a priority to God which automatically means it should be a priority to us. One of the challenges we face in running a mobile adventure ministry is that it constantly takes us away from home and family and friends and turns prolonged physical distance into relational distance. As the years go by our close friendships naturally become less & less close. Because of this we are taking time to focus on "The Friendship Factor" and emphasize the importance of close friendships. We are striving to rekindle friendships that were once vibrant and flourishing, but have now grown distant as well as investing in new friendships that God has placed before us. In both instances, we are looking forward to what God has in store. Have a great day FRIENDS!!

Save-The-Date!! (Nov 17, 2015)


Tues Night - Nov 17, 2015

GTD's Annual Fundraiser Banquet!!

Come celebrate 19 years of ministry with GTD! Be a part of a wonderful night of inspiration, excitement, & celebration. Help take GTD to the next level as we raise funds for next year's programs, as well as prepare for the next 20 years of ministry.

<> $25 per person (or $40 per couple)
<> Table Sponsorships start at $150
<> Catered By Carrabba's
<> Largo Cultural Center
<> Fundraising Goal: $30,000

Details  |  Donate

Friday, October 23, 2015


It has been a very productive week back in the office. Part of the challenge of being on the road for several months and not having an office manager is that we return back to a mountain of tasks that need immediate attention while at the same time having to work on current tasks as well as prepare for upcoming events. It can be a little overwhelming and feel a little paralyzing. But last week we took a week to rest & recover. We have taken the time to pray over everything. And we've started back at our weekly staff meetings. Like the old adage goes, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." We have broken our mountain of tasks into smaller "bite size" piles and we are attacking them aggressively. The past 5 days have been very productive and we are marching forward as we still have several weeks to go to get all caught up. Our profound thanks to our prayer supporters and Ministry Partners who help enable us to go the distance!! We look forward to what God has in store for us and sharing the progress with everyone :)