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John Neal and University Park Residents Send $5,750 in Supplies to New Jersey School Devastated by Superstorm Sandy

John Neal, President of John Neal Homes in Lakewood Ranch, helped raise close to $6000 for a school in New Jersey devastated by superstorm Sandy.

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John Neal, President of John Neal Homes in Lakewood Ranch, helped raise close to $6000 for a school in New Jersey devastated by superstorm Sandy. 

When his friends Rebecca and Ed Herman, sent out an email about students being displaced at her childhood elementary school, Lavallette Elementary, Neal decided to get involved.

“We knew we wanted to help these children find some normalcy again,” said Neal, president of the Lakewood Ranch based new home building company. “The owners of the University Park Country Club and I decided to get the message out to the residents at University Park and then match whatever was raised. Over a two week period we raised a total of $5750 in gift cards for school supplies.”

Lavallette Elementary School is part of a small barrier island community in New Jersey, and the elementary school children are studying at a church in a nearby community while their school is slowly rebuilt. They lost everything — including supplies.

Rebecca Herman, John Neal’s friend, moved to Bradenton in 2005 but still has many relatives in the small New Jersey town.

“All of my relatives there have been displaced, and the kids are completely devastated,” said Herman. “When John told me how much they raised, I was amazed and when I called the secretary at the school and told her how much was coming their way, she about fell off her chair! It’s a big deal. After feeling so helpless down here in Florida, it feels good to be part of the recovery story. I am so proud to call John Neal my friend and neighbor; he is a pillar of this community and never hesitates to help out people in need even when he is not personally affected.”

The gift cards purchased were sent to the school this week and will be used to purchase things like paper, pencils, books and desks.

Affiliated with the Neal family of companies, John Neal Homes was the largest custom builder in Manatee County in 2011 based on permits and is currently building in Lakewood Ranch, Legends Bay, The Forest, Riva Isle and on privately owned lots in Bradenton, Venice, Parrish, Siesta Key, and Freeport, Bahamas. The company is completely integrated to benefit its customers, with its engineering and building team, plus PureStyle design services and Waterscapes pools, the fifth largest pool company in the state.

Established in 2010, John Neal Homes garners a 99.8% positive customer referral rate and is a testament to the customer service offered by John Neal Homes. John Neal is a fourth generation builder in the Neal family and under his pioneering leadership, the John Neal Homes team builds on more than four decades of experience. John Neal is a dedicated community advocate and philanthropist.  He sits on several community boards including the Manatee County Red Cross, the State College of Florida, and is an incoming board member of the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce.  John also sits on the Environmental Lands Action Committee for Manatee County and continually takes an active role in advocating for and supporting his community.

The company's honors and accolades include Aurora Awards for models in The Country Club at Lakewood Ranch and Country Club East and several Parade of Homes awards from the Home Builder’s Association. John Neal was named as one of the Gulf Coast Business Review’s 40 under 40 in 2011 and a person to watch by Biz941. John Neal Homes is a custom builder that designs homes in planned communities as well as on your lot. For more information go to www.homesbyjohnneal.com

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